BLACK women entrepreneurs have sued venture capitalists for $300m, alleging they were discriminated against when they were denied equity in their companies, The Independent reported on Thursday.
Black women entrepreneurs in the United States and the Caribbean are particularly vulnerable to discrimination because they are more likely to have a lower income and are more often from minority ethnic backgrounds, the report found.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in San Francisco on Wednesday by the National Women’s Law Center, the National Black Chamber of Commerce, and the Black Entrepreneurship Coalition.
The plaintiffs are seeking to establish a national fund that would allow women entrepreneurs to invest in and maintain businesses, according to the report.
The fund would be used for investment, marketing, sales and marketing, and business management, the plaintiffs said.
The report also said the venture capital industry has a “historically low representation of minority women”.
The report highlighted a case in which venture capitalists rejected a Black female entrepreneur’s bid to buy an online video platform called Belly for $200m because she did not have a business card.
The woman, who has since been awarded $150m in damages, also said she was denied a partnership with a private equity firm.