3 Ways LinkedIn Helped Me Overcome the Obstacles of Being a Minority Entrepreneur

 

Caitlyn Kumi, Founder of Miss EmpowHer

When I launched Miss EmpowHer, I had a vision for the brand, but I had no idea how to execute my vision. I needed advice from experienced professionals, and I needed funding to get started. However, I was met with challenges. In the early days, I struggled to find advisors that understood the obstacles I faced as a minority entrepreneur. I became filled with self-doubt and anxiety and questioned if Miss EmpowHer was even a viable business. I decided that it was time to pivot and leverage the power of LinkedIn to achieve the entrepreneurial success I desired. 


1. Built a network of mentors & sponsors 

 

How do you become the best you can be? You have to learn from the best and make the most of opportunities. LinkedIn allowed me to connect with experienced professionals at top companies and then apply the knowledge I learned from my 15-minute zoom chats into my business. Sometimes these one-time zoom chats turned into a long-term relationship and helped me get media features in notable publications such as Buzzfeed and Good Morning America. However, the most important thing to remember when networking on LinkedIn is to be authentic and intentional rather than transactional and self-serving. 

 

 

2. Learned About New Funding Opportunities 

 

When I started Miss EmpowHer, I knew I would not be receiving any funding from my parents, so I needed to find a way to fund my new venture. I started connecting with people in the entrepreneurial community on LinkedIn. I noticed that my feed became flooded with grant opportunities, pitch competitions, and stories about entrepreneurs that had received funding for their ventures. I was fortunate enough to discover Launch Chapel Hill’s business accelerator program and receive funding to grow Miss EmpowHer in June 2021. 

However, the reality is less than 3% of women receive venture capital funding, and less than 1% of black women receive venture capital funding for their businesses. 

If you want funding opportunities, start connecting with people and using LinkedIn to learn the strategies and opportunities minority entrepreneurs use to fund their ventures.

 


3. Recruited Top Talent To Grow My Business 

To accelerate the growth of Miss EmpowHer, I knew I needed to attract strong talent for my remote internship program. I used LinkedIn to introduce people to my brand and to share the benefits of our internship program. As a result, I was able to attract quality applicants each application cycle. 




Let me know if you found these tips helpful. 

 

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