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Meet Shelly Omilâdé Bell—a Woman on a Mission to Fund 100K Black and Brown Women-Owned Businesses

Meet Shelly Omilâdé Bell—a Woman on a Mission to Fund 100K Black and Brown Women-Owned Businesses

By Stacey Lindsay
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Here’s a fact that inspires us: Black women are creating businesses at approximately six times the nation’s average.

Now here’s a fact that infuriates us: Those founders are coming up against obstacles, including a lack of capital and access to influential networks, that many other founders are not.

This combined determination and lack is fueling Shelly Omilâdé Bell—and she’s fighting to build a better, more equitable and just path in a system ruled by the patriarchy. So Bell founded Black Girl Ventures, a venture firm and foundation that invests in Black and Brown women founders. Bell and her team are tackling this issue head-on. The Black Girl Ventures Foundation offers women founders access to social and financial capital to grow their businesses. Since its founding in 2016, they’ve funded more than 450 women of color.

Bell’s struggles are at the core of Black Girl Ventures. A single mother of three who has faced oppression, she’s proved to be an innovator in countless ways, having scaled more than 100 businesses. She’s worked as an educator, spoken word artist, and computer scientist, among other roles. Today she lets no feat deter her, and she wants the same for determined women founders.

We love what Bell recently posted: “I was broke and broken-hearted. Creativity, intuition, and willpower were the only things I had. These were three assets that could not be ripped away from my grip. Sprinkle an engineer’s mindset and the artistry of articulation on top and BAM!

We applaud Bell for her gumption and all that she’s doing to reimagine how Black and Brown women founders get the capital and recognition they richly deserve.

To learn more about Bell and Black Girl Ventures, visit

Stacey Lindsay

Senior editor Stacey Lindsay is a multimedia journalist. She was previously a news anchor and reporter who covered veterans' issues and breaking news. Learn more at:

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