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brown mamas

blog Resources for Black Entrepreneurs in Pittsburgh

Black entrepreneurs in Pittsburgh can find it tough to navigate this challenging landscape. I’ve been a mompreneur in Pittsburgh for over a decade and still find it challenging in a city that often ignores the needs of African-American people. As a first-time, first generation entrepreneur, I’ve had to lean on many of the resources listed below to find my way and build bridges to funding, other professionals and the skills and knowledge I needed to grow Brown Mamas.

Here is a list of programs, professional networks and funding opportunities that cater to Black entrepreneurs in Pittsburgh.

Funding & Grants

  1. Black Girl Ventures – Provide Black/Brown woman-identifying founders with access to community, capital, and capacity building.
  2. Hello Alice – Hello Alice is a free online platform that helps small businesses launch and grow. It provides knowledge, funding, networks, and peer-to-peer connections. 
  3. The Progress Fund’s Business Lending Program – Provides financial support to entrepreneurs in underserved areas.
  4. Bridgeway Capital’s African American Business Fund – Specifically aims to fund Black business owners in Pittsburgh.
  5. Neighborhood Community Development Funds – The Neighborhood Community Development Fund is a neighborhood-focused community loan fund that helps underserved populations by providing capital to spur business and job growth, the creation of affordable housing, and the redevelopment of Allegheny County neighborhoods.
  6. IFundWomen – A debt-free, low risk way for Black women founders to raise capital.

Black Entrepreneurs in Pittsburgh

Mentorship & Networking

  1. Greenwood Week – A touring networking event designed for Black female entrepreneurs.
  2. African American Chamber of Commerce – Their mission is to promote access and business opportunities for African American business owners and professionals throughout the region.
  3. Professional Women’s Network – Focuses on the professional development and networking of women in Pittsburgh.
  4. Entrepreneurs Forever: I joined an Entrepreneurs Forever group in 2023 and it provided some deeper connection with other small business owners as well as an outlet for the day-to-day struggles of entrepreneurship.
  5. PA Women Work – Pennsylvania Women Work is a nonprofit workforce development organization dedicated to helping individuals find financial stability. 

Co-Working Spaces

  1. Beauty Shoppe – Offers special rates and an inclusive environment for minority women entrepreneurs.
  2. The Salon – A space to learn, grow and connect with brilliant women in Pittsburgh
  3. Coterie Company – Women-focused co-working space with an array of mentorship programs.
  4. Emerald City Co-Working Space – Serves as a community hub for Black professionals and creatives in Pittsburgh.

Business Development

  1. Chatham’s Women’s Business Center – Provides resources and mentorship for women looking to start or grow their businesses.
  2. Ascender Pittsburgh – Incubation space offering tailored programs and investment opportunities.
  3. Catapult Pittsburgh – Aimed at equipping minority entrepreneurs with the skills for long-term business sustainability.
  4. Innovation Works – One of the active seed-stage investors in the region offering both funds and mentorship.
  5. Riverside Center for Innovation – Provides a comprehensive entrepreneurial support system, focusing on minorities and women.
  6. University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence – Offers a range of business courses, networking opportunities, and funding resources.

Black entrepreneurs in Pittsburgh

Training & Workshops

  1. Ureeka Community – An online platform offering courses and mentorship for minority women entrepreneurs.
  2. CWE Women-Owned Business Certification – Helps women entrepreneurs get certified as a women-owned business.
  3. Greenwood Week in Pittsburgh – A week-long event that includes workshops, networking, and panels for Black entrepreneurs.

Online Resources

  1. Digital Undivided – Online platform for Black and Latina women entrepreneurs.
  2. Google for Startups: Black Founders Fund – Offers non-dilutive capital to Black entrepreneurs.
  3. HelloAlice.com – A website to help entrepreneurs find capital in the form of grants, loans and credit.

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