About BGV


the "B" stands for black and brown

BGV creates place-based initiatives to provide access to capital for Black women entrepreneurs. Our mission is to use entrepreneurship support and training as a vehicle for poverty alleviation and wealth building. Black and Brown women founders are underserved, unbanked and underfunded. It's time to change that!

It all started in a house in southeast, Washington, DC! Black Girl Ventures was founded in August 2016 by serial entrepreneur, artist and author, Shelly Bell. The idea felt random and simple, “women are not getting access to capital for their business, well let’s get them access to capital for their businesses,” Shelly proclaims. She created a Meetup.com group and within a couple weeks the membership went from 0 to 150 and kept climbing. Shelly launched the first event called “Eat, Pitch, Vote” with the simple idea to bring women of color (WOC) together to discuss entrepreneurship, partnership, and support through collective economics. About 30 women were in attendance and ready to support each other with the intent of growing their businesses. Since then, visibility has grown rapidly “Eat, Pitch, Vote” is now “The Black Girl Ventures Pitch Competition.” Event attendance has grown from 30 to over 100 people per event. The number of applications received has grown from 20 to 300 applications a year.

Black Girl Ventures supports the Black Girl Ventures Foundation. The Black Girl Ventures Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization.