Funding small businesses is never easy. But as the 2020 cliche goes, these are unprecedented times, and they definitely didn’t aid the process of sustaining a small business. Elizabeth Gore is the president and co-founder of Hello Alice, a community of entrepreneurs with big-name mentors such as Pitbull and Gwyneth Paltrow. Gore joins Bold TV to discuss the importance of mentorship, picking co-founders and accessing capital.
Choosing the right mentor
Gore says she worries when owners make decisions in isolation. But when building a business, the people around you play a large role in your success. Find a peer mentor that can relate to your situation and give you advice from first-hand experience. Most people need a mentor who is six months ahead, so they have the experience fresh on their minds. With online resources, you can search for mentors by industry, location and more. Thirty percent of Hello Alice’s platform are African-Americans, and they find that African-American women use the platform to find and support each other.
The right co-founder
Choosing a co-founder is also an important decision. A common misconception is that female founders should choose a male co-founder and vice versa. Women, Gore says that you shouldn’t pick a man in the name of diversity or men having more respect. You may end up with what they call a CEO Bro that mansplains everything. Pick the best co-founder for the skill sets you need. Yes, you should incorporate diversity in your board and employees, but don’t choose a co-founder simply based on gender.
Create your access to capital
The Hello Alice ecosystem supports entrepreneurs, mainly women, minorities and veterans. Access to capital is never easy to find. But there are many ways these groups can fund their dreams. There are always grants out there that you’ve never heard of. And there’s new venture capital popping up every day. You can create your own access to capital if you don’t give up, and if you utilize resources like Hello Alice because they’re often untapped potential.