A dozen underrepresented small business owners pitched their ideas to a panel of investors in South Bend on Thursday as part of a competition spanning cities across the world to promote women and diverse entrepreneurs.
The competition is hosted by SoGal, a nonprofit that aims to connect diverse entrepreneurs with venture capital. Local chapters are scattered across the world and help small business owners with pitching, design, and marketing skills.
Nicola Brown leads the SoGal chapter in South Bend, currently the only chapter in Indiana. She says she knows first-hand the unique challenges women and underrepresented groups in the state face when it comes to finding investors.
“As a startup founder myself, the reason I brought So Gal to Indiana was that I was facing the trouble of getting access to capital and resources to grow and scale our startup,” Brown says.