Clàudia Baró Huelmo
Associate | SwitzerlandView profile
“During my research, I found out that 90%-plus of all venture funding and angel funding goes to white men in a country where they make up one-third of the population. That caught me off guard as a gay Black woman in the South with no connections. I thought, ‘That doesn’t seem like that’s going to end well, if that stays the same.
So instead of going out and teaching myself how to raise money for a company, I taught myself how to raise money for a fund by diving into any book I could get my hands on and any interview I could get my hands on. I started making phone calls, sending emails in the dozens at a time and little by little started making breadcrumbs and finding my way. And then, you know, an overnight five years later I got a check for $25,000 that would kick off my investing career”.2
90%-plus of all venture funding and angel funding goes to white men in a country where they make up one-third of the population.
If there were more richer people—and even more so, not the 1%, but just richer people—who were Black and brown they then could influence policy. And then policy influences what happens on the street. So all of it’s important.
Arlan Hamilton is important to me as a trailblazer because she is not afraid to change things and she is not letting the world shame her for having ambition and the drive to make the world a better place for the LGBTQ+ community.
She is a fantastic model of what can be achieved when you do not accept boundaries imposed by tradition and society. In my opinion, she is also the sort of leader that will define the future of business. For instance, when asked about resilience, she responded:
“At Backstage, we have mental health days that are paid. You do not have to give any notice because it rarely comes with notice. You just say, that day or that hour, I need to go, and you go. That is what happens. There is no question.
If you would like to learn more about her, check out her book: It’s About Damn Time. The name of her book comes from a comment made by Ms Hamilton when asked about the launch of a USD 36 million fund to be exclusively earmarked for the businesses of black women: “They like to call it a diversity fund. I call it the about damn time fund.”5
So, I hope you join me in saying “about damn time” for a new generation of business leaders!
They like to call it a diversity fund. I call it the about damn time fund.
1Black Enterprise – Venture capitalist Arlan Hamilton’s new book is filled with crisis-busting advice
2Time – Arlan Hamilton Went From Homeless to Running $20 Million in VC Funds. Here’s How She Did It
3Time – Arlan Hamilton Went From Homeless to Running $20 Million in VC Funds. Here’s How She Did It
4Medium – It’s About Damn Time: Interview with Arlan Hamilton of Backstage Capital
5Black Enterprise – Venture capitalist Arlan Hamilton’s new book is filled with crisis-busting advice