Five questions with EnrichHER
4 minute read
Dr. Roshawnna Novellus is the founder and CEO of EnrichHER, a financial technology platform with regulatory approval to help women secure funding to grow their ventures.
Dr. Roshawnna Novellus is the Founder and CEO of EnrichHER, a financial technology platform with regulatory approval to help women secure funding to grow their ventures.
EnrichHER is disrupting traditional and predatory lending terms through its credit model and lending environment. EnrichHER’s investment platform is fueling the growth of women businesses by enabling female founders to secure capital in an affordable and non-dilutive way. The company completed the Techstars Anywhere Accelerator in 2019.
Roshawnna is a gender equality advocate who believes in economic empowerment and inclusive economic growth. She served on the Commission on Women for the City of Atlanta and was honoured as one of the Women Who Means Business by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, one of the 40 Under 40 by Georgia Trend, and as a Halcyon Fellow for Social Impact.
01. What do you find is the most difficult aspect of being a female founder?
The most difficult aspect of being a female founder is navigating the bias that others have about your ability, skillset and story. I’ve had people tell me that I need to find a technical team member when I have a PhD in Engineering and work experience at the top research institutions in the world. As such, we often have to spend time educating, convincing or proving ourselves to others when we should be focused on growing our businesses.
02. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned since first developing and launching your startup?
Trusting your intuition and expertise continues to be important in the startup ecosystem. Often, startup founders are encouraged to abandon who they are, to mimic the journeys of those who have been successful in the past. However, everyone has different skillsets, networks and abilities to contribute to society.
03. How has the pandemic impacted your company?
The pandemic sparked a wave of change in the way that we help women-led and black-owned businesses win. We changed our model from an individual approach to an approach that includes mastermind conversations, marketing awareness and capital for the businesses that we serve. We believe that with these three components; businesses will be in a much better position to navigate the uncertainty in the market.
04. Tell us about a role model or mentor who has helped you along your journey.
Stacie Whisonant, founder of PYT Funds, is one of the smartest people I have ever met. She continuously paves the way for the next generation of entrepreneurs and students and has personally offered me guidance in my FinTech endeavours. Her drive, capacity and ability to stay positive amid ignorance and bias is inspiring to me. She knows her worth and is not easily influenced by anyone who doesn't value her insight. She continuously excels at whatever she does, yet still remains humble and compassionate.
05. What is the one piece of advice you'd give to other women thinking about starting a company?
Don't stop chasing success, but also don't forget to balance your time between work and relaxation. It's easy to lose yourself in the monotony of vicious work cycles. Find something that lights you back up. Not only will you benefit from it personally, but professionally as well. You can't run your life or even your business on an empty tank.
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