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Section 4

Black Founders Build Diverse Teams

Serial-company overnight-successes. We learn how many swings our founders have taken at entrepreneurship based on their work ethic, ability to take care of their mental health, and how naturally diversity comes to them. Enter black entrepreneurship where there is no gender diversity problem.

A Caribbean proverb

When spider webs unite, they can tie up a can lion

With teamwork, you can accomplish great things.


Black Founders Are Serial Founders

An impressive half of our founders are serial entrepreneurs responsible for founding multiple ventures. With 5% founding 4+ ventures, and 15% on their third venture, a certain level of entrepreneurship is sometimes required, often with failures along the way, to succeed.

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10% of our Black founders achieved exits, a figure that corresponds with the expected rate of return in venture capital.

On the other end of the spectrum, as a whole, only a quarter to a third of the Black founders had previous experience in either their current business type or vertical.


The Hustle

78% of our founders currently work full-time on their startups, with 22% only part-time.

This makes their typical working week 56 hours on average, which is 20 hours longer than a standard full-time service contract. That means even those who are part-time work almost five full-working days (34 hours) on their startup. Those working full-time on their startups average 60 hours.

Balancing these demands with one's home life is also a reality, as one-fifth of the founders have either one or two children.


Handling The Hustle and Mental Health

15% of the Black founders are currently attending therapy or have done so in the past.

This figure is higher than the national average for everyone (12.1%), for white British people (13.1%) and more than double the average for black-ethnic minorities in the UK (6.2%).

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Founding Team Size

A considerable number, 42% of our founders, are solopreneurs, a factor that can create challenges when fundraising. The founding team and their credentials is a well-considered aspect for any investor assessing a prospective early-stage startup. A solopreneur, therefore, has less opportunity to impress investors compared to a larger, more broadly-skilled founding team.

Two-founder teams are the majority at a percentage point more: 43%. Teams with three founders comprised 10% and teams of four or more founders: 5%.

In the 60 startups, there are a total of 108 founders. 84% are Black (76%) and mixed-race (8%).

What's important to highlight is that whereas 75% of black founders had Black cofounders, 25% did not. The cofounders are a mixture of founders of white, Asian and Latam heritage. Seven percent identified as LGBTQIA+, a percentage above the national average.


Gender and Founding Teams

This impressive diversity also extends to the gender numbers, with a nearly even split of 48% to 52% female to male founders.

The preference for same gender teams stands out from the data with female-only teams in the lead at 42% compared to 40% male-only teams. Mixed-gender foundings teams are the minority from this selection of founders at 18%.


Length of Co-founder Relationships

On average, our founders have known each other for 8.4 years.


Founding Team Skill-Set

The talent of the founding teams is mixed with 12% possessing both commercial and technical skill sets.

The highest proportion of startups founders are from commercial backgrounds (68%) with one-fifth bringing technical expertise to the venture.


Black Founders Are Job Creators

At the time of reporting these figures (Q1 2020), the 60 black founders employed 322 people, averaging 5.4 jobs created per startup.

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Gender Diverse Teams

53% male. 46% female. 1% non-binary.


Representative Teams: Sexual Orientation

6% are from the LGBTQIA+ community.


Ethnically Diverse Teams

58% identified as black, 7% mixed-race, 20% white, 13% arab or asian, 2% LATAM and less than a percentage of mediterrenean heritage.

Three-quarters of the 322 total staff reported identify as people of colour.
That’s more than 3x the benchmark for the entire tech industry as a whole in the UK and the US.