According to Snead, the biggest challenge that women entrepreneurs face in the business today surrounds representation. “[We are] not seeing enough women entrepreneurs in general who are boss women! We see many young white males, but we don’t see enough people who look like us,” she said.
According to ProjectDiane, CEOs who happen to be women of color receive less than 1% of all VC funding every year. Slowly but surely, with more initiatives like Ladies’ First, we hope to see that percentage steadily increase.
After cultivating her business with the help of Terp Startup and the Ladies’ First community, Snead entered the Pitch Dingman Competition in 2019.
“Winning Pitch Dingman gave us momentum and helped us shape our long term goals, she said. “After the pitch, we were able to develop children’s tights, create additional shades, purchase another order of tights, and have our largest photoshoot to-date.”
Snead recently applied for and was awarded $1,000 from the Dingman Center’s E-Fund to expand their product line and replenish the inventory for their top-selling tights.
Today, Aurora is focused on growing sales to sports teams. Snead’s primary advice to students considering entering the competition is to practice until saying your pitch naturally flows out of your system.
Snead and her co-founders hope to continuously expand the company. They’re looking into creating partnerships with band dancers and have a special project brewing that should be launched within the next year. The idea is similar to WeWork, but specifically curated for women of color entrepreneurs.
In the spirit of continuing the Ladies’ First legacy, Snead left us with some advice for female entrepreneurs intending to launch new ventures:
- Learn as much as you can about your industry, talk to as many people as possible, and pitch to people you know then people who have no idea what you’re talking about. Do your spiel over and over again — it builds that confidence for you to be able to respond to questions later on.
- Join join join Ladies’ First! It’s very conversational and inclusive. Be open to learn more and challenge the ways you’ve been doing things before.
Written by: Hannah Shraim for the Dingman Blog