Less than 1 percent of black women founders get VC funding.
Nichelle McCall Browne, CEO of Bold Startups, is one of 1 percent. She raised $1/2 million within a year as a non-technical founder of her own software company.
She’s been helping entrepreneurs boldly launch and grow businesses since 2007 and has managed two business accelerators, where entrepreneurs have made collectively over $3.6M in revenue within a few years.
Here’s her story:
How did you get started on your journey to entrepreneurship?
My entrepreneurial journey started with me being unemployed in 2010. I had just completed my master’s degree and was recruited for a position back home, when at the last minute the organization went another direction. So I found myself unemployed. At that moment, I decided to never leave my financial future in the hands of someone else. That was when I started working on my first consulting business.
What is your definition of a serial entrepreneur?
I define a serial entrepreneur as someone who frequently sees new opportunities or challenges and starts new businesses to address them.
How many business ventures have you been involved (as owner, investor, partner, etc) and what has been your process for managing them all?
I have started four businesses of my own in consulting, tech, real estate investment and startup coaching. I have also managed two business accelerators helping individuals launch and grow their businesses. Our entrepreneurs collectively have made over $3.6 million in a few years.
When starting my business ventures, I usually focus on launching one at a time, so I can learn what works and what can be tweaked. Once it’s steady, I hand it over to others to manage so I can focus on the next business.
In general, what would you say has been your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur?
My biggest challenge was definitely starting a tech company as a non-technical founder. I had an idea for leveraging software to help students navigate the college application process, but I did not have a background in coding. Fortunately, I ended up finding advisors who taught me how to build an investment-ready business, find the right paying customer, and create revenue-generation milestones. This led me to raising $½ million in a year and I have used these principles in my businesses since.
How satisfied are you with your success thus far? What area of business do you want to tackle next?
I’m content with the progress that has been made thus far and excited for what’s next.
Right now, I’m focused on growing my Money Milestones program that teaches consultants and service-based businesses to build six-figure businesses, so they can be full-time and financially-free. The entrepreneurs I’ve served have seen great success so far, so I’m putting more systems and teams in place to scale my reach. As the business grows, I’ll use more of the profits to continue to invest in businesses, missions, and real estate.
Share a quick example of a time you collected the “bag” and circulated it throughout a segment of your community to give back and make greater impact.
I once had a nonprofit client I was working with to raise money for a new multipurpose complex. I ended up donating half of the money from my contract back to the nonprofit as I truly believed in the mission.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs who fear they may be doing “too much” at once?
When your business services are aligned and you have a team to help with management, it’s easier to focus on successfully growing them.
In this situation, you will not always have to create something from scratch, but rather leverage what you already created in order to multiply revenue.
This post is the part of The Bag Collector series – a spotlight posts that feature serial entrepreneurs of color each recognized for their ability to diversify in business, wealth and investments. These individuals exemplify what it means to be creative and unapologetic in pursuit of entrepreneurial excellence, and ultimately collect the “bag” then use it to make greater community impact.