“Sorry for asking, but do you understand that the money belongs to the company and is not your personal fund?”
When Jesse Ghansah saw this question in an email from a prominent white investor in San Francisco while fundraising for his first startup four years ago, he refused the deal.
The 28-year-old Ghanaian entrepreneur, whose business is in Ghana, and his co-founder found it condescending when they were already in Silicon Valley’s prestigious startup development program Y Combinator. “I really doubt that a white founder would be asked the same. There are a lot of systemic issues as a black founder raising money abroad,” he says.
His experience is not uncommon.
While many were wary of speaking publicly, African entrepreneurs told the Guardian about humiliation, discrimination, stereotyping and sometimes racism that they endure in interactions with some of the world’s most prominent investors.
*The views of the above article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Africa Speaks 4 Africa or its editorial team.