If you haven’t heard of the new VC fund collective titled, Fearless Fund, you’re surely missing out. Lucky enough for you, we’ve got all the details for you! The fund dedicated to powering businesses by women of color was co-founded by Keshia Knight Pulliam and entertainment industry vet, Arian Simone. We caught up with Arian Simone to discuss all the details in this exclusive interview!
Tell us all about the Fearless Fund. What inspired the creation?
Honestly, the Fearless Fund was inspired by my own entrepreneurial journey as well as the current need in climate and the venture capital industry. The VC industry is a newer industry and it’s also an 80% white male industry. Each year, billions of dollars are circulated for funding. As of last year, over $200 billion dollars was invested in funding and of that, only 2% went to women, of that less than 1% were received by women of color. There are racial and gender gaps and of course it motivates you to get into the space to play a part.
I did make a promise to myself when I was 21-years-old (when I also got my retail store in the mall), I told myself I was going to be the investor I was looking for because I remember what it was like to raise capital.
I always believed that I should be able to pitch this venture to someone that looked like me, a black woman. Women of color should be able to sit across the table from one another and have that kind of discussion. That was my motivation, I reached out to Keshia, we became co-founders.
Onto of this, you are also a philanthropist, author, founder, and CEO. How are you able to juggle all that you have on your plate and still remain sane?
When people look at balance, they look it it as a 50/50 situation, that’s not realistic and that’s not life. In life we have what we call priorities. You prioritize what is important to you and thats how things get done.
You believe that women should take more risks when it comes to their money. Can you explain that to us?
I do believe that when it comes to money, a lot of people’s thoughts are more fear-based than faith-based. Business has risks and not taking a risk is the biggest risk you can make. You have to weigh out the rewards and the risks. When the rewards weigh out the risks, you have to take the risk! It’s simple.
I believe that the subject of money in the community of women can kind of be taboo. I’m glad that it is more of a discussion now. The subject of money in the African American community can be somewhat taboo as well. In the venture industry, it’s getting more ground now but it’s definitely a discussion we need to have as a community.
Could you offer your best advice to our readers?
There is no fun in the journey unless you’re bringing people along on it. You don’t have the position to influence others if you’re just doing it for yourself, it’s for the greater good and for the bigger picture.
I would definitely encourage people to cease the moment and continue to operate in the space of purpose!
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
Yes! Next year is our ten year anniversary for our Fearless brand as a whole. There will be a large activation that’s going to be awesome! In the midst of it, I have a lot going on, I’m writing another book. The Fearless Fund is definitely a top priority from a business stand point.
For more on the Fearless Fund, click here!
All images by DeWayne Rodgers