THE CAKE

4 Ways Optimism Is a Competitive Advantage for Black Female Founders

Number two is one we all need

Courtney Caldwell
ZORA
Published in
4 min readNov 22, 2019

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Photo: Shannon Fagan/Getty Images

TThere’s no denying that African American women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the United States. In less than two decades, Black women-owned businesses have increased by 322%. And in almost every industry — from sustainable food to renewable energy to honest media to smart retail to community connections — Black women are choosing to fix what they see is broken. But with fewer resources being allocated to Black women, how are our startups, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations growing in count and outperforming our peers? Simple: Black women use optimism as a competitive advantage.

1. We are happier building our own futures and betting on ourselves, which in turn reduces founder stress

As business owners and Black women, we seem to always be operating from a place of lack: lack of fair pay, lack of resources, lack of work cultures that value our uniqueness, lack of time to accomplish our personal goals, lack of sleep, lack of fair promotion, lack of family-friendly policies in corporate America, lack of self-care… the list goes on.

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Courtney Caldwell
ZORA
Writer for

Cofounder of @ShearShare | @DMNews 40 Under 40 | Top #Nifty50 Women in Tech | @SMU AlumniBoard | @TMI Board of Trustees | Superman's Wife | Mom of a Jr Olympian