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Need To Know With Dr. Nsenga Burton-Fearless Fund
Episode 14514th June 2024 • TonyTidbit: A Black Executive Perspective • TonyTidbit ™
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Episode Audio Link: https://podcast.ablackexec.com/episode/Need To Know With Dr. Nsenga Burton-Fearless Fund

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In this episode of 'Need to Know with Nsenga' on Black Executive Perspective, Dr.Nsenga Burton discusses the Federal Appeals Court's decision to block the Fearless Fund from issuing grants exclusively to Black women. She highlights the systemic barriers Black women face in entrepreneurship despite their impressive contributions and statistics. Dr. Burton explains the need for specialized support like the Fearless Fund and shares insights on the broader implications of these legal setbacks on marginalized communities striving for equal opportunities in business.


▶︎ In This Episode

  1. 00:00: Introduction to Need to Know with Dr. Nsenga Burton.
  2. 00:22: Federal Appeals Court Blocks Fearless Fund.
  3. 00:51: Statistics on Black Women Entrepreneurs.
  4. 01:46: Challenges Faced by Black Women Entrepreneurs.
  5. 03:22: The Role of the Fearless Fund.
  6. 04:17: Systemic Disparities and the Need for Support.
  7. 06:33: Personal Reflections and Call to Action.
  8. 07:28 Conclusion and Next Week.

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Transcripts

BEP Narrator:

A Black Executive Perspective now presents Need to Know

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with the award winning hyphenated Dr.

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Nsenga Burton.

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Dr.

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Burton, what do we need to know?

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Dr. Nsenga Burton: Good afternoon.

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Welcome to Need to Know with Nsenga.

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I am happy to be here today.

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I'm unhappy to be talking to

you about this particular topic.

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If you've been watching the news, you

have seen that the Federal Appeals

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Court has blocked the Fearless Fund

from issuing grants to only Black women.

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There has been A movement to

disempower people of color in

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general, black women specifically,

and it is, uh, really come to a head.

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Uh, the fearless fund was founded to

give black women entrepreneurs a leg up.

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Now, you may be looking at the

statistics and the statistics are, uh.

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Amazing and we seem like we're doing

black girl magic and all the things right?

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So we have black women account

for 42 percent of all women

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who opened a business, right?

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So we're doing that.

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We're outpacing white women and black

men in terms of opening businesses.

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We're doing that.

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We represent 36 percent

of all black employers.

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We're doing that.

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Black women entrepreneurs also

have payroll, a large percentage

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actually paying people.

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Not only paying the money, paying

them taxes, all of the things, um,

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so that they can enjoy their lives.

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And once they leave or move

on, they can continue to, um,

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enjoy the fruits of their labor.

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Um, and then you have all of

these things happening compared

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to, New businesses, right?

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That are being started by others.

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10 percent of white women

and 15 percent of white men.

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So, if you see the numbers of the

statistics and these statistics, I got

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from a study or report from JP Morgan, um,

from:

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things are going well, and they are to a

certain extent, but what they don't talk

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about or show is the incredible barriers.

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And access to entry black women

are up against further the types

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of businesses that they're able to

start, or we're able to start often

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don't have the same types of revenue.

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For example, the average amount of

revenue that a black woman owned business

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makes is $24,000 dollars per year.

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So, when you don't have access to

capital, when you don't have access,

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and we're talking about venture capital.

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When you don't have access to money

because of systemic barriers, including

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racism, sexism, misogyny, discrimination,

when you're less likely to be approved for

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a loan, when you carry more student loan

debt than any other group in the country,

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all of these things are happening.

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Sometimes you need a leg up.

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Um, many black women are going into

entrepreneurship because of, um, they're

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tired of corporate America and trying

to be liked or treated with dignity

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and respect or not overworked and

undervalued, overworked and underpaid,

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um, and, you know, just being made

the villain, so to speak, uh, in

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order to support, uh, really poor

practices, uh, and business practices.

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So, black women are taking

a chance on themselves and

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they're starting businesses.

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So, to get back to the fearless fund,

the fearless fund is really, um, one

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of many, uh, well, I won't say many,

but one of several, um, that are really

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trying to make sure that black women

in general, um, and, and that includes

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Afro Latino, that includes African,

that includes Caribbean, what have you,

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um, black women are getting a shot.

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At being entrepreneurs and being

successful entrepreneurs who can operate

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at full capacity, they can have staffs.

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So they're not overworking

themselves in their own businesses,

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which many of us tend to do.

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They can have retirement and

benefits and offer that so

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they can attract great talent.

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And so, when you get this type of ruling,

and it continues to happen, we saw

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it at Harvard in terms of admissions.

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We're now seeing it.

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They're now telling you.

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Uh, in America.

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Okay.

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So, yeah, you can start a

business, but you can't help

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a particular group of people.

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Everyone has to have access to

it, even though there are systemic

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disparities that suggest there is

a need for this particular fund.

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They didn't go out here and say, okay,

let's be a black supremacist and just say,

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um, we're only gonna help black women.

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They looked at the data

because it's all data driven.

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They looked at what is needed in our

communities, black women, 72 percent of

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black families are led by black women.

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They looked at all of

that information, right?

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And all the education that

we're getting, we are the most

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educated group in the country.

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We are, which is why we

have the most student loans.

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Right, because we have the least amount

of income, capital, housing, all of

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the things that, you know, other groups

have, uh, in, in wonderful numbers,

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particularly people who are white.

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They looked at all that data and

they say, how can we help make

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a difference in our community?

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How can we help impact this community?

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Particularly when we are

disenfranchised and left out.

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Of these other opportunities, whether

it's at the corporate level, whether

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it is as small owned businesses.

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I just read an article today where

someone, uh, didn't want to sell

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their house to this young woman, 33

year old woman, uh, in California,

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cause she was black and said it, you

know, wanted to stop the closing.

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These are the things that happen

to black people all the time.

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That is part of our existence.

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It is part of our experience.

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And you know, just because it's

not on NBC all the time doesn't

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mean that it's not happening.

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So I just wanted to say.

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That It's a really sad day when we don't

look at our historically disenfranchised

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populations and think about the ways that

we can help those who are most deserving.

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And these are people who have gone

to school and educated themselves.

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These are people who have, uh, and, and,

and there's entrepreneurs themselves.

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These are people who have decided

that they want to use their talent

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to uplift the community, right?

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You keep talking about, you need

to get jobs, you need to take care

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of your own community, you need

to do this, you need to do that.

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And so when we try to target, and that's

all it is, it's not giving anybody a

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hand out, it's giving somebody a leg up.

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When we try to target people to

help make that happen, they were

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penalized, demonized, villainized

and further disenfranchised.

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So it won't stop.

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Um, we will continue to do what we can.

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I am the former national executive

director of an, uh, of, uh,

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the National Association of

multicultural digital entrepreneurs.

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I'm the former Southeast

regional director.

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Of a, uh, an HBC

entrepreneurship institute.

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So people are still going

to be working hard on it.

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We have Congress people who are

working on these initiatives.

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Biden administration has rolled out

coins or funding for entrepreneurs.

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So there are ways to get to it.

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But it's just disappointing that if

you try every single pathway that

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is available to you and you are

rejected, even though you are qualified

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and you do have the credentials.

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That there's still now there's nowhere for

you to go in terms of people who are like,

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they understand you understand you, your

community, your culture, and the types

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of businesses you're trying to build.

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So that's, that's disappointing,

but we won't stop.

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We'll keep going.

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So this is a need to

know with Nsenga on BEP.

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Join us next week.

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