Sheletta Brundidge, the author of ShelettaMakesMeLaugh.com, recently purchased billboard advertisements for five Black female businesses in honor of Black Business Month. Brundidge told Twin Cities Business that she is doing this to help the growth of Black women-owned businesses, who have historically had trouble receiving venture investment.
According to research, Black entrepreneurs receive fewer than 2% of total VC funding each year, while Black women-led businesses receive less than 1%.
“It’s not just to help them, but also to show other people that we’re worth the investment—to show other people what it looks like to support Black women in business—because if we don’t do it, nobody else will,” Brundidge stated.
The media celebrity spent $15,000 on billboards that promoted local companies for two weeks. Advertisements for Black women entrepreneurs appear near the US Bank Stadium.
The Soul Grain Granola Company’s founders, Sylvia Williams and Liza Maya, were taken aback when they saw themselves in downtown Minneapolis scrolling advertisements. Williams, a pastry chef, and Maya, a nutritionist, both expressed gratitude for the exposure.
“I mean, we’re going to take over the world now, But honestly, we’re trying to grow strategically and expand our presence to hopefully become a household name,” Maya said as she faced the billboard.
De’Vonna Pittman, founder of the hair and skin care company Nature’s Syrup; Rosline Friedrich, founder of Rosline’s Candles; Chaz Sandifer-Lakeview of Lakeview Terrace Farmer’s Market; and Tameka Jones and her team, creators of the cosmetic brand Lip Esteem, were also featured on the billboards. Brundidge also has a rotating advertisement.
Brundidge credited Randy Moss, a former wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings, as the inspiration for her company’s commitment in female entrepreneurs this year. She was inspired to invest after hearing his story, she said.
Moss recently joined forces with Brittany Tolliferreo, the founder of Chick-A-Boom, a chicken and waffle restaurant in southwest Philadelphia, and will now serve as the organization’s top brand ambassador.
Brundidge also stated that Black-owned businesses should be supported by the larger community because they are not only for Black people.