Why our StartUp isn’t raising Funds
When me and my business partner started FemmeNoire International two years ago we were two starry eyed, optimistic young women.
We’d read every book and article about entrepreneurship we could get our hands on. Techcrunch, Forbes, Bloomberg, and Y-Combinator, and similar outlets became institutions we not only venerated for their prestige but the information they so freely disclosed on a regular basis to our shared email inbox. We’d consumed countless pieces of business literature about methods such as the Lean Startup, Six Sigma, and growth hacking. And we inoculated ourselves from the virus of self doubt and negativity by religiously meditating on the teachings of books like The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, and The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.
We attended several pitch competitions, and met with countless investors and technically skilled people in the software field. We built great relationships, and became inspired anew with each new encounter…but to no avail in the end. In the two years since our incorporation we haven’t gained funding. So today is the day we declare that we’ve had enough.
I’ve gotten real exhausted with the all consuming effort of trying to persuade people and investors to champion our startup business…the fact is their support shouldn’t be what defines our success…the fact is they’re just not that into us…and guess what? That’s okay!
We've come to the realization that our startup still has some growing to do in order to build some valuable leverage before we can even think about allocating time to attract investors.
So as of today we’ve made a conscious decision to stop courting the interest of potential investors. In the funding craze that is the tech startup world this manifesto of sorts may sound like a death rattle, but to us it’s a rejuvenating breath of fresh air because now we can concentrate our time and effort into having dialogue with the people who actually can make our business a success. Our customers and users.
For a long time we believed we were handicapped by the fact we didn’t know the right people with the right technical skills, or the right people to help us raise angel investment, but now we know that a thriving tech ecosystem does exist in our own backyard to help two young black women with a dream of changing the way women of color spend, save and invest.
While having access to this ecosystem is advantageous, it also provides a dangerous sense of security. Access to funding just like the economy has its ebbs and flows. At the end of the day receiving outside funding is a luxury, and a business must rely on the fundamentals of life to survive for generations.
With my business partner being a new first time mommy, and my own increased need to cultivate stronger bonds with the relationships I already have, the pursuit of the unicorn experience has waned, and pragmatism and practicality have taken center stage. It’s time we had more fun with our friends, family, and partners. This business was meant to change lives and help small beauty businesses, but more importantly it was meant to allow me and Jasmine to do something we loved with people we loved.
We’re going to focus on our core audience for the rest of the year, and you might not hear that much from us…but just know we haven’t disappeared. We’ll be hosting events all year, and we’ll be getting back to the heart of what it means to be a #FemmeBoss.