More than half of Black women entrepreneurs self-fund their start-up capital, according to the Harvard Business Review, despite the majority having lower incomes and more debt compared to white men and women.
Ross said loans she wanted to apply for had higher income requirements than she could afford.
“The last three years of my businesses, they will consider it a hobby,” Ross said.
When starting her business, Ross bought her start-up capital outright, thinking that it would prevent her taking on debt. However, she failed to build a line of credit, which she needed to access services like insurance. Ross said entering her business with limited financial education put her at a disadvantage when making business decisions, and increased mentorship might have made her aware of other strategies, like micro-loans.
In search of networking events, Ross joined the Quad Cities Chamber, but she said the membership ended up being too expensive to maintain.