Browse Tag

business funding

2 mins read

Black Founder Raised Six Figures on a Black-Owned Equity Crowdfunding Platform

Mitch Gilbert is the Co-founder & CEO of Oya, a femtech apparel brand that uses innovative fabrics and sweat absorption technology to provide performance wear engineered for feminine health and comfort. She has successfully raised $1.3 million to date for her Los Angeles-based company.

Notably, over $100,000 of that funding was raised on Seed at The Table, a Black-owned equity crowdfunding platform.

We caught up with Mitch to gain her insights on navigating the fundraising landscape as a Black founder.

In this interview, Mitch shares:

  • Her experience fundraising for her company.
  • What inspired her decision to raise capital on Seed At the Table.
  • How Seed At the Table supported her campaign beyond just providing a platform for fundraising.
  • Some of the biggest challenges she faced during the crowdfunding process, and how she overcame them.
  • The steps she took to prepare for her crowdfunding campaign.
  • Her advice for other founders who are considering equity crowdfunding as a way to raise capital.


True to its commitment to access, Seed is considering opening up an investment round to the community to allow investment participation in its growth journey. This is a unique opportunity that is typically only afforded to institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals.

Click here to be considered for investment in Seed at the Table and support socially responsible business!


Ready to fund your business growth and get connected with resources? Sign up on Seed at the Table to connect with potential investors who share your values and other viable resources to grow your business.

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4 mins read

The Importance of Angel Investors in Bridging the Funding Gap for Black Founders

The startup ecosystem can often be a challenging space for Black founders to navigate. Overall, Black entrepreneurs typically receive less than 2% of all VC dollars each year while companies led by Black women receive less than 1%, according to data from Crunchbase. This is a stark contrast to the fact that Black Americans make up nearly 13% of the U.S. population.

One of the reasons for this disparity is the lack of access to funding. Angel investors can be an important alternative source of capital for Black founders, helping to level the playing field and create more opportunities for success.

Access to Capital

One of the main reasons that angel investors are important for Black founders is that they provide access to capital that may not be available through traditional funding channels. Banks and other financial institutions are often hesitant to lend money to startup founders, especially those who are just starting out.

This is particularly true for Black founders who may not have the same networks or connections as their white counterparts. Angel investors, on the other hand, are often more willing to take a chance on a new business idea and are willing to provide the funding needed to get the business off the ground.


In addition to providing access to funding, angel investors can also offer valuable expertise and mentorship. Many angel investors are experienced entrepreneurs themselves, with a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities that come with starting a new business.

They can provide guidance on everything from business strategy to fundraising to marketing and sales. For Black founders who may not have access to the same networks and resources as their white counterparts, this mentorship can be incredibly valuable.

Overcoming bias

Another benefit of working with angel investors is that they can help Black founders overcome some of the biases and barriers that exist within the traditional funding ecosystem. Unfortunately, many investors have unconscious biases that can affect their investment decisions.

This can make it difficult for Black founders to secure funding, even if they have a great business idea. Angel investors, on the other hand, may be more open-minded and willing to invest in a diverse range of founders and ideas. This can help Black founders overcome some of the systemic barriers that exist within the startup ecosystem.

Building networks

Finally, working with angel investors can help Black founders build important connections and networks within the startup ecosystem. Many angel investors are well-connected within the industry and can introduce founders to other investors, mentors, and potential customers.

This can be especially valuable for Black founders who may not have access to the same networks and resources as their white counterparts. By building these connections, Black founders can increase their chances of success and create more opportunities for themselves and their businesses.

Overall, angel investors can be an important alternative source of capital for Black founders. By providing access to funding, expertise, mentorship, and networks, they can help level the playing field and create more opportunities for success.

As more Black founders enter the startup ecosystem, it’s important that they have access to the resources they need to thrive. Angel investors can play a key role in making this happen.

Interested in investing in Black founders? If so, please complete this brief form.

4 mins read

Documents to Have Ready before Applying for a Loan

When you’re applying for a small business loan, having your financial records in order shows the lender that you are a trustworthy and accountable borrower.

If these documents aren’t in order, or if you’ve submitted the incorrect information, it could lead to your business being denied necessary funding.

In this post, we outline the documents that are frequently requested by traditional small business lenders and how you can stay prepared for the loan application process.

A Clear Strategic Plan

To secure a loan, most financial institutions require you to submit a comprehensive business plan along with the loan application. It serves as a short introduction to who you are and what your company is all about.

The business plan should include a complete set of projected financial statements, including profit and loss, cash flow, and balance sheet. This should reflect a calculated strategy that can communicate to the lender the company’s aims, mission, and how you plan to meet all of your goals.

Business & Personal Credit Scores

When you submit a business loan application, a lender will typically review both your personal and business credit to assess the risk you pose. Having a good business credit score and business credit history makes it easier to get financing for your business.

Otherwise, you may have to rely on personal savings and personal credit cards. Moreover, a good personal credit score can increase your chances of approval and securing a lower interest rate, whereas a bad personal credit score can make the whole process more difficult.

One of the most popular business credit scoring models—Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) PAYDEX—ranges from 0 to 100. A good score ranges from 80 to 100; a bad business credit score ranges from 0 to 49. Experian is also a common scoring model with FICO scores ranging from 300-850.

Income Tax Returns

Your business’ income tax returns illustrate how your business has performed in the past. So most loan programs require applicants to submit the last two to three years of signed personal and business federal tax returns.

If your business is new, you should ask your accountant to help you create a projection of what your tax returns might look like in the upcoming year. Your personal tax returns may also be requested.

Income Statement

Income statements are especially useful for small business lenders who want to understand how a business has performed over the past year(s). Even if your expenses exceed your revenues—which is often the case for newer businesses—all lenders will want to view your income statement.

Balance Sheet

An income statement is a historical report, whereas your balance sheet is a glimpse of your current financial situation. A balance sheet will represent your business’s financial components, such as:

  • Current Assets & Liabilities
  • Sources of Equity
  • Accounts Receivable

Each of these figures is very important to commercial lenders. If your liabilities exceed your current assets, you may face challenges securing a small business loan with a low-interest rate.

Bank Statements

Small business lenders may want to review your business’s bank account statements during the application process. It’s important that your financial statements reflect the fact that your business is actively earning revenue while managing expenses in a healthy way.


Let Lendistry guide you through the business loan process. If you want to learn more, call 888-594-7270 or contact them online!

4 mins read

Sole Proprietors: Steps to Take Before Hiring Your First Employee

A sole proprietorship is the first step for many businesses and is the simplest of all business entities to set up. It is not a business entity per se, since no legal setup is involved.

Usually, such businesses have one owner, although in some cases, spouses may jointly own a business. In a sole proprietorship, the owner is responsible for all liabilities.

However, being a sole proprietor doesn’t mean you have to handle everything by yourself. If you find that your business is expanding, you will likely need to hire help. Before you do, here’s what you should know.

1. Get an EIN

Prior to hiring employees, you must get an EIN or Employer Identification Number. You use this number on tax returns and other tax documents. To get an EIN, you must file the SS-4 form with the IRS.

2. Register with the State Labor Department

Once this step is complete, you can pay state unemployment compensation taxes. These payments go to your state’s unemployment compensation fund, which provides short-term relief to workers who lose their jobs. You can visit the Department of Labor’s website for a list of state unemployment insurance tax agencies.

3. Explore Insurance Options

An employee may injure himself while on the job, and you could be on the hook for their medical expenses and lost wages. Therefore, before hiring employees, it’s important to secure workers’ compensation insurance. Purchasing insurance right away can protect your business from lawsuits and encourage continued growth.

4. Set up a Payroll System for Taxes

As an employer, it’s necessary to withhold taxes from your employees’ paychecks to give to the IRS. You will also have to make Social Security and Medicare tax payments to the IRS. An automated payroll system can help you avoid costly errors and fines at tax time.

5.   Get the Paperwork Ready

Hiring employees involves a lot of paperwork, which is better done sooner rather than later. For each new hire, you must fill out Form I-9 for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Form W-4 for the IRS.

Have each employee fill out IRS Form W-4, which tells you how many allowances they are claiming for tax purposes so that you can withhold the correct amount of tax from their paychecks. You can find this form at

You should ask employees to fill out a new W-4 form each year if they want to change their allowances.

6. Consult an Attorney to Comply with Employment Laws

Consulting a business attorney may be the most important step that you should consider. It can help you avoid many pitfalls, like failing to meet state or federal standards that can lead to massive fines, failing to comply with all relevant statutes and employment laws, etc. Such mistakes can possibly bankrupt your business. Consulting a business attorney can protect your business and create a safe work environment for your employees.

Being a sole proprietor can be challenging, but you don’t need to do it alone. You can get support and technical assistance from the experienced team at Lendistry.

4 mins read

5 Ways to Get Funding for your Web3 Startup

Raising funds to get your Web3 startup off the ground can be challenging and overwhelming. However, there are a few tried-and-tested methods that you can try to attract capital for your Web3 venture. This article will explain some of these methods to you.

1. Self Investing & Asking Peers

Some founders of startups choose to invest their own money into the startup. Investing in your own idea is a sign of trust and confidence that could appeal to potential external investors. It shows them that you have faith in your project and are willing to take financial risks for it.

Also, if you’re a founder of a Web3 startup, don’t overlook your personal network as potential investors. If you know friends, family, neighbors, or colleagues looking for new investment opportunities, pitch your idea to them.

However, you and your peers alone cannot fund the entire startup. Once you’ve garnered as many funds as possible from your peers and contacts, you need to look to other external sources to get your startup on its feet.

2. Grants from Traditional Entities

Grants are pretty popular among the Web3 community as they are an important source of non-repayable funds. You also don’t have to give up any equity in your company when you accept a grant.

You can take advantage of this by applying for grants offered by traditional organizations that are part of the public and the private sector. Some of these organizations are looking to grant funding to promising startups aiming for innovation in the Web3 space.

When applying for grants from traditional organizations, however, remember that they come with specific stipulations, so read the fine print.

3. Grants from within the Web3 Industry

Many renowned organizations within the Web3 industries are looking to offer grants to startups that use their particular technology. For example, big names like Ethereum, Solana, or Cardano can offer you substantial funding, but the competition can be too fierce.

You could also consider grants offered by newer blockchain players in the market. Establishing your startup on one blockchain network can help you raise funds to expand your idea to others.

4. Web3 Accelerators & Incubators

Startup accelerators and incubators are typically designed to help fresh entrepreneurs grow by providing training, education, and a sufficient workspace. While they may not always be direct sources of funding, they do prepare you for the next steps in fundraising.

If you’re still developing the skills or confidence to build your startup and pitch to potential investors, accelerators and incubators could be of great help to you. However, ensure that when choosing an accelerator or an incubator, you pick one that caters specifically to Web3 startups.

5.   Web3 Crowdfunding

While crowdfunding isn’t a new concept, it works slightly differently for a Web3 startup. Mostly because crowdfunding for new Web3 projects happens on blockchain networks. You can find various decentralized crowdfunding platforms that aim to raise funds from the wider Web3 community to help DAO projects. You can browse through your options and create a crowdfunding campaign for your startup!

Do extensive research on how each of these funding sources could benefit the startup idea you have in mind. Before approaching potential investors for funding, think of optimal ways to create and market your brand and get comfortable with pitching to investors.

Tony O. Lawson

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5 mins read

Buying a Business VS Starting a Business: Which is Right for You?

Buying an existing business might be a good fit for you if you are concerned about starting your own business from scratch and the costs associated with a new business. When you buy an existing business, it involves taking over an operation that is already profitable and generating cash flow.

These businesses typically have a strong customer base and reputation, as well as employees who are familiar with all aspects of the business. Moreover, there is no need to set up new procedures, systems, and policies, since a proven formula for running the business already exists.

Though it can be more expensive to purchase an existing business than to start from scratch, it’s actually easier to procure financing for an existing business than for a new one. It is generally easier for banks and investors to deal with a business that has already proven its track record. You can also obtain valuable legal rights such as patents or copyrights if you purchase a business.

Buying a Franchise

Many feel that buying a business is less risky than starting your own, especially if you can find a well-managed, profitable one—and negotiate a good price. An existing business provides immediate cash flow, and the difficult start-up work has already been done.

You’ll have a customer base and suppliers. The business’s financial history shows what to expect—and often makes it easier to get loans or attract investors.

However, you will need to invest a large amount upfront, especially if the business hasn’t been profitable lately.

Franchising allows a business owner to open their own branch or branches of an existing brand. A franchise license entitles the holder to market particular products or services under a brand or trademark according to prearranged terms or conditions. In exchange for fees and royalties paid to the parent company, the franchisee can use the business format and systems of the franchisor.

The main advantages are a proven market for the product or service, and tested and specific operations management policies. The main disadvantages stem from the power that the franchisor has over the franchisees.

Purchasing an existing business makes it much easier to plan and raise capital, because of the historical records.

Franchising is becoming an increasingly popular method of establishing and operating a small business. Many entrepreneurs find the opportunity to operate their own business with slightly less risk an attractive option, but operating a franchise is more restrictive than the other two forms of ownership.

Starting Your Own Business

There are plenty of advantages to starting your own business. You are the boss! You can set your own schedule, conduct your business your own way, and do things in your own time. If you buy a franchise, you still have a “parent company” overlooking you and your business. Starting your own business means it’s all about you!

This also means you can bring something new and unique to the market. You don’t have to sell what others want you to sell, it’s all up to you! Plus, depending on your business, you will be paying much less than buying a franchise.

However, when starting a new business, it may take a while for you to become profitable. This may take months or even years before you start seeing a positive change in numbers. You’ll have to keep your head on straight if you start your own business.

Lendistry is a Black owned fintech firm that provides economic opportunities and progressive growth for small business owners and their underserved communities as a source of financing and financial education. Contact them today if you would like to learn more!

4 mins read

How I Raised $1 Million in Business Funding

Roughly 45% of businesses don’t make it past the five-year mark. One of the most common reasons for this failure rate? A lack of business funding.

Now, this isn’t to say that money isn’t available—the chances are that if you’re got the fundamentals of your business laid out, the money is out there.

Ultimately, it comes down to how you manage to acquire it. And that’s exactly what this article is going to cover.

How I Raised $1.07 Million for My Trucking Business

2020 showcased a remarkable accomplishment for Pierre Laguerre, the founder of Fleeting, who became the first Black man to raise the maximum amount possible ($1,070,000) through crowdfunding opportunities in the span of 12 months.

Fleeting is a platform that connects companies with experienced and qualified CDL drivers. Since trucking is a critical part of the supply chain, which constitutes the backbone of the economy, many investors quickly took the chance to weigh in.

How to Raise Capital for Your Business

When it comes to the trucking industry, entrepreneurs might find that they need more than just dedication. Starting a trucking business is an excellent decision because the trucking industry isn’t going anywhere, but it often always requires high capital investment for startup and operations.

That said, there are still several ways you can finance your business:

1. Use Equipment Lenders

With a well-managed business plan and some existing capital, you stand a higher chance of getting financing from equipment lenders. Many lenders provide tailored solutions that you can use for your trucking business, which will eventually help you bring in more investors.

2. Crowdfunding

When compared to other methods of raising capital or financing a business, crowdfunding is definitely a newer option. Despite being new, however, it’s quickly risen in popularity as a way of funding, and we’re no exception to this.

Crowdfunding functions much like a loan, pre-order, or investment—just from several people instead of one person or entity. As an entrepreneur, it will be your responsibility to sell your business on the crowdfunding platform, including your goals, plans, amount of funding required, etc.

3. Enter a Franchise Agreement

Entering franchise agreements with interested parties can be extremely useful to grow your business quickly. This arrangement allows other owners to use your name for their business while paying you a franchise fee as well as a portion of their profits.

4. Look into Freight Bill Factoring Financing

A problem you’re likely to run into in the trucking industry is delayed revenue. In some industries, this may not be a problem, but a trucking business will rack up operational costs that need to be paid off.

If you’re just starting out and don’t have an immediate cash flow, freight bill factoring financing can help. Freight factoring companies essentially buy your invoices for immediate payment, and then wait to be paid by the clients.

Ultimately, there are several ways to grow your business, depending on your needs.

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5 mins read

5 Reasons Why the SHOPPE BLACK Global Business Directory & Agency are a Game Changer

Since 2015, we have profiled thousands of businesses and interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs and professionals from New York to Nigeria, all in the name of celebrating Black Business excellence and encouraging our community to invest in itself and to SHOPPE BLACK.

Now, we’re officially launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds that will get several initiatives off the ground, including:

  • releasing our highly anticipated international business directory
  • expanding our content
  • launching a business agency

Additionally, we’ll be traveling to cities across the country and the Diaspora to connect with entrepreneurs and folks who are invested in creating holistic and prosperous communities.

black business directory
SHOPPE BLACK Co-founders – Tony and Shantrelle

Reason 1 – More than just a Business Directory

Attracting customers (online or offline) is one of the top challenges that business owners face.  What better place to showcase your business or service than through a website that Google has ranked at the top for searches relating to Black owned businesses?

We won’t just list your business on our directory and pray that potential customers find you, we’ll become actively involved as an extension of your marketing and promotions team.

This will allow you to leverage our expertise as a platform that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors monthly, has amassed over 90k email subscribers, and has grown a highly engaged social media following of over 200K people that are passionate about supporting Black owned businesses.

Reason 2 – Access to Business Funding

It’s clear that one of the biggest challenges for Black owned businesses is access to the capital needed to start or grow.

In order to do our part to bridge the funding gap, we’ll be offering access to a variety of business loans and credit via a strategic partnership with a Black owned business funding company.

We’ll also offer access to credit repair services for those who need help qualifying for funding.

Reason 3 – Business Services

Our agency will provide business owners and professionals with several services including:

Customer experience training – We’ve all heard about how the customer service at Black owned businesses, well…sucks. However, let’s be clear, this is a generalization. I know from personal experience that many offer excellent service.

For those business owners who want and need to improve in this area, we’ll provide training on how to build an army of lifelong customers that will sing your praises. This training will allow your customers to have a more pleasant experience with your business and feel good about spending their hard-earned money with you.

Branding – When it comes to the look of a website or images on a business social media account, we’ve seen the good, the bad, and the “could use improvement”. ?

Many businesses are getting it right, but many need some guidance. We’ll be enlisting the services of a team of professionals that will assist in making businesses look like they mean business.

Reason 4 – Results and Receipts

We can talk all we want but at the end of the day, what you need is results, and that’s what we offer.  We have a track record of helping businesses boost their brand awareness and increase sales.

black business directory
Results! – Boon Boona Coffee


black business directory
More results! – Nick’s Jerk Seasoning


Reason 5 – Support for Black Business Supporters

For individuals who are having trouble finding a resource that offers an accurate and up to date listing of Black owned businesses on a global level, we offer an online community that includes thousands of Black owned businesses and professionals from around the world.

Unlike most other business directories, we offer you the opportunity discover, connect and gain insight into these businesses via features, interviews, product reviews and more.

Stay tuned. The best is yet to come. We’ve got much more in store.


Click HERE to support!



Tony x Shantrelle