To understand why New Pattern Utah was launched in June of 2020 to support Black women business owners, all you have to do is look at the data and see what this group of entrepreneurs is up against. Less than half a percent of venture capital funding makes its way to Black women.footnote1 Yet Black women are founding businesses at more than twice the rate as all women entrepreneurs.footnote2
The goal of New Pattern Utah, a grant and mentorship program created by the Utah Black Chamber, Womenpreneurs, and the investment firms Beta Boom and Sorenson, is to improve those odds with direct access to capital and ongoing support. At the end of day, the mission is to foster more diversity in the state’s start-up community. “Founders often talk of the friends-and-family capital that got them started, and Black women entrepreneurs have the least amount of access to that,” says New Pattern Utah Director Aanjel Clayton (shown above).
The program offers promising founders seed money and six months of consultations with mentors and coaches and access to resources that can help grantees grow their businesses. “We’re not just writing checks,” says Clayton. “We give financial advice on how to use the money and walk them through the fundraising process.” The ongoing education includes teaching founders how to pitch to VC firms and angel investors for future rounds of funding.