When You Can’t Afford to Fail

Jessica Norwood, RUNWAY
and Rodney Sampson, Opportunity Hub (OHUB)
With Chuck Eesley, Stanford University

Many entrepreneurs rely on so-called “friends-and-family” money to get their venture off the ground, and build a safety net in case their venture is unsuccessful. But many Black founders, observes RUNWAY founder Jessica Norwood, don’t have friends and family who can afford to invest tens of thousands of dollars in a nascent business. To combat systemic racism and discrimination at that early stage of the entrepreneurial journey, she explains, RUNWAY has focussed on providing “I Believe In You” money to Black founders who often struggle to raise funding through traditional means.