In a world where access to funding can make or break a startup, five-time founder and entrepreneur Dawn Dickson is taking steps to level the playing field by offering some advice for fellow founders.
Dickson has experienced firsthand the challenges of raising capital, particularly for women and minority-owned businesses. Dickson's work in the venture capital space resulted in founding five positive cash-flow companies and the successful exit of one. Now, she is using her expertise to help other entrepreneurs succeed.
Dickson, the founder of automated retail technology company PopCom, has successfully raised millions of dollars in funding for her business. In an interview with Forbes, Dickson specifies that one of the key challenges facing many entrepreneurs is a lack of access to the networks and resources needed to raise capital. She adds that this is particularly true for women and minority-owned businesses, which have historically been underrepresented in the venture capital space. Dickson aims to address this issue by providing fellow entrepreneurs the support they need to blossom by hiring underprivileged populations in her companies.
She also adds that entrepreneurs should be prepared to make mistakes and accept that sometimes, things won't go their way. What matters is getting back up when you fall and devoting yourself to making money, Dickson says, as having real cash creates real opportunities. She insists that entrepreneurs only start a business that can make money either the day or the month they open their doors.
"I don't want a $1 billion business valuation and my net worth based on billions that are all just fluff and air," Dickson tells Forbes. "I want cash in the bank."
She also emphasizes the importance of diversity in the venture capital space, noting that investors from various backgrounds and perspectives are better equipped to identify and invest in a broader range of innovative ideas. By helping to promote diversity in the startup ecosystem, Dickson hopes to create more opportunities for underrepresented entrepreneurs to succeed.