Preview: Black Women & The Invisible Billion Dollar Start-up

Photo provided by Regina Gwynn

Regina Gwynn is the co-founder and CEO of TressNoire, an on-location hair styling booking service. TressNoire is the first beauty booking platform designed for busy multicultural professionals that sends traveling hair stylists to their client’s  home, hotel or office to bring a luxury salon experience to their doorstep. However, Regina is not only a CEO for her own company, she is also a co-founder to an organization that promotes and uplifts African American females interested in entrepreneurship and technology. I recently had the opportunity to chat with her about her upcoming SXSW panel.

Tell me a little about your background:

I worked as a brand and digital marketing executive for around 15 years for companies such as The Apparel Group, Macy’s and Monitor Group. However, I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, so when my best friend and I saw a gap in the marketplace for a service that delivers both an amazing and convenient styling experience for women of color we started TressNoire. After starting my own business and seeing the struggles and opportunities that other black business owners were facing, my friends and I started an organization aimed at creating a community for other black female entrepreneurs to connect and share resources called Black Women Talk Tech. Since the start of this organization, we have already started seeing some traction in our efforts to support other black female entrepreneurs.

What inspired you to speak at SXSW:

I am a co-founder of a community organization called Black Women Talk Tech and our mission is to fill in the knowledge and resource gap that will help black females build billion dollar companies. Therefore, I wanted to bring awareness to our organization and identify the problems faced by many colored business owners. As well as to support and encourage black females to build the next billion-dollar business.

How did you get interested in this specific topic:

We started Black Women Talk Tech because we saw how hard black females are working to create billion dollar businesses, but are still struggling to be seen, supported and funded. Black female entrepreneurs are among the most educated and fastest growing demographic of entrepreneurs, yet they still remain underrepresented. Together with allies, we can turn that “black girl magic” into the next tech unicorn.

What do you think your biggest takeaway will be for an audience member of this panel:

Our mission for this event is to encourage and support the next black female-led billion dollar company. We want investors to know that they are missing out on “hidden figures” because of the lack of access and funding these black female entrepreneurs are getting. However despite the challenges they face, many are already running thriving business that if given the chance could be taken to the next level.

What specific things are you hoping people learn:

That the conversation is relevant and needs to be voiced. Women are fueling the entrepreneur sector, therefore they must have the technological know-how to operate in this tech influenced economy. I want women to know that there are people out there rooting for their success and different organizations that will help them get to where they are going.

Other panelist include Sydney Thomas of Precursor VC, Lauren Washington of KeepUp and Kelli Jones of Be Nimble.

 

 

Monday, March 12
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Hilton Austin Downtown – Salon J

Find out more: A Woman’s Take: Moving from Music to Tech Startup

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