By Ryan Velez
If you’re a Black woman in business looking to reach out to like minds, you may want to keep your eyes on Black Women About Business (BWAB). This 11-month virtual and retreat platform for aspiring, novice, and seasoned entrepreneurs focuses on education, mentorship, coaching, and funding. Black Enterprise recently sat down with BWAB founder Rochelle Soetan on the challenges in this venture and how it will help Black women meet their goals.
When it comes to the needs Black women have, Soetan explains that there are several areas to approach. “I believe that we need community support that feels relevant and conducive to our needs. I think that the “tribe” is often missing for us so we end up learning about things the hard way, which is what I did in business. I believe that there is a better way forward. One of the ways that we can serve the community is by ensuring that women have better and total access to high-quality education relative [to] their knowledge and to grow their businesses. Based on all of the information that is available about access to capital, there is a huge need for women to have financial support to be able to scale their businesses,” she says.
She also has very specific reasons she chose to approach lack women rather than all women. “There is a lot of focus these days on black women in a variety of capacities, particularly, in the realm of business. There are many programs that support black women in business but none like my vision for BWAB, which is really a one-stop shop.
This all-encompassing program was designed to give black women the full support they need to create a strong foundation in business and to launch and scale their businesses successfully. We are addressing everything as a whole to include self-worth, self-work, educational needs, mentoring, financial education, access to capital, and mind/body/spirit connection,” explains Soetan.
A big piece of the puzzle here is leadership development, and when it comes to this, she is “collaborating with an assortment of professionals who are well-known, have a considerable following, and are known in their fields for the niche that they are bringing, be it branding, social marketing, or business planning. These partners will provide the educational support, mentorship support, coaching support as well as the funding and developmental aspects of business. At least 90% of all of the business support we will provide will be offered by black women.”