Jade Kearney is an entrepreneur and author known as an expert in lean startups, as well as one of the founders and CEO. She Matters, a platform designed to improve the mental health of black women. He is also the founder of Black Girls Tech Day, Saturday, Oct. 9, with a talk where Kearney will premiere his book Lean While Black.
It was created by Kearney Black Girls Tech Day to network, learn and celebrate the unique contributions of black women creators of technology to the entrepreneurial community and to support creators.
Kearney has a background in diversity and inclusion and a master’s degree in Digital Media Design from NYU. We asked her about the particular challenges that black women creators face, the challenges of scaling up for light start-ups, and why it’s so hard for women creators and what they are. women of color in particular, to ensure creation.
GD: You’re the founder of Black Girls on Tech Day, which had a conference this Saturday. What is the mission of the organization?
Jade Kearney: The mission is to provide resources for women creators of BIPOC technology to change the narrative that only white and Asian men are part of Silicon Valley culture. There are many black women leaders in the field of innovative technologies and my goal is that we will have a seat at the entrepreneurship table through awareness and funding.
GD: You have a new book, Lean While Black: A Guide to Black Entrepreneurship. What are the unique challenges facing black women launching technology startups?
Jade Kearney: Funding, Access and Tutoring. All are necessary for success. You can have a million dollars, but if you don’t have the connection or guidance to grow your money, it will be difficult to be successful.
GD: You are a well-known proponent of the start-up model, but is there a limit to how far a startup can scale without increasing capital?
Jade Kearney: Absolutely, I touch on this in my book. You can have all the tutoring in the world, but you need capital to grow your business. Now, there are many ways to raise money without “raising capital,” but these avenues are tedious and depend on your relationships, so you’ll need access to and guidance on these avenues to receive funding.
GD: How difficult is it for women of color to raise capital?
Jade Kearney: I speak from the perspective of black women and they receive only one percentage point of the capital earned by black women. When you say women of color that includes Asians and Latinos. Travel is different because their relationship to money and race in America is different. It’s very difficult for black women to grow up because people see us as outsiders. How much money I raise, when people see me they don’t think “Tech Creator”. We need to change the culture to get into it so that VCs and others don’t fight to get the link between our projects and funding.
GD: You are the founder and CEO of the She Matters platform, designed to improve mental health for black women. How hard has the pandemic been on black women?
Jade Kearney: This pandemic has been very hard on black women. Black women with mental illness have doubled. As it stands, we are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs, but also the fastest growing group of people with mental illness. The differences in health care have been revealed through this pandemic, but Black is something we need to navigate every day in the community. That’s why We Matters exist to change here and we end up doing the same thing with other marginalized women’s groups.