The Story of Building Something from Nothing As A Female Entrepreneur in the Tech Lifestyle Industry.
In 2020, VC’s invested $428M into US-based startups each day. That’s $156.2B in one year.
“Nearly eight in ten investors say that multicultural and female entrepreneurs receive the right amount, or more, of capital than their business models deserve, yet these same investors dramatically underinvest in this population.”
So let me break all this down for you as it relates to me, a female entrepreneur leveraging technology to disrupt the laundry & dry cleaning industry. Here are the facts:
$1.2B has been invested in laundry & drycleaning technology.
I have received $0 in institutional investing.
Since 2013, I have been hustling, grinding, and sacrificing. Because while my counterparts went on to raise (and lose) millions of dollars — my path was longer, and far more difficult. If I had to sum it up in a sentence, it feels like working 10x as hard to get half as far. But hard work never scared me away.
I never raised, but I stayed focused. I single-handedly built, grew, and scaled my company. I doubled my revenue each year for three consecutive years until the Covid pandemic hit. When Covid wiped out 90% of my business — I not only rebuilt my revenue and client base in six months; I redesigned my entire technological infrastructure. We released a hybrid AI text solution in April — the first of it’s kind in my industry. Just this month, we introduced GPS and ETA tracking on all orders.
I did all this without outside investment. But the truth is — I could do so much more with the proper support, and proper resources. And I know I’m not the only one.
Like many immigrants, I grew up in a humble home. My mother was a single parent who juggled three jobs to provide for me. Watching her multitask, I understood the value of sacrifice and creative problem solving from a young age. It instilled a very unique way of thinking in me.
There are many more like me. My story is part of a larger collective. I’m here to tell you that there is real untapped talent and potential that has yet to be harnessed.
Let’s go further. Let’s look at a few more figures.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nonwhite children now account for the majority of the nation’s 74 million children. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that, “In the coming decades, people of color will have an increasing presence in all U.S. institutions, in higher education, the workforce and the electorate.”
Are we truly investing in the future if only 0.2% of funding goes to people of color?
What happens to those promising entrepreneurs who never get a chance to raise? What happens to their ideas?
What kinds of opportunities are being missed out on?
These are complex issues — I know. My hope is that in sharing my story, I shed light on the other stories that aren’t being told.
Read more here.
-Rechelle Balanzat, Founder & CEO, JULIETTE