American Express Commits $2.5 M to 100 Black Female Owned Businesses

LaToya Stirrup co-founder of the Kazmeleje hair care company based in Florida was one of a hundred businesses to receive venture
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Photo: LaToya Stirrup

LaToya Stirrup co-founder of the Kazmeleje hair care company based in Florida was one of a hundred Black female businesses to receive venture capital funding from American Express.

We have seen a movement this year in American culture with Black Lives Matter that is long over due and many BIG businesses have been a part of pledging to make a change.

American Express 100 for 100 Campaign pledged to help Black female entrepreneurs grow their small businesses by pledging to give 100 Black female owned businesses $25,000 each and 100 days of business development courses. They teamed up with iFund Women of Color.

Together, they researched how much venture capital money small businesses owned by women receive and it was only 2.8 percent in 2019. Black female owned businesses received even less: 0.32. That is part of why American Express and IFundWomen pledged to help.

A Miami, FL based business owner, LaToya Stirrup is one of the 100 businesses American Express 100 for 100 campaign selected to help. They were recently featured on Yahoo! Finance.

Co-Founder of Kazmaleje (pronounced Cosmology), LaToya Stirrup is one of 100 women selected by American Express and IFundWomen of Color for its 100 for 100 campaign that supports Black female entrepreneurs. All recipients of the grant program will be awarded $25,000 plus 100 days of business mentorship. For Kazmaleje, founded in Miami, Florida, it’s a boost that will undoubtedly catapult them into further growth.

LaToya’s story is truly inspirational. When she started her hair tool brand for those with curls, Kazmaleje, along with her two sisters in 2019, there was nothing that was going to stop them. Then 2020 put the entire world on pause, including small, Black, female owned businesses.

LaToya realized that their company was providing an essential product as more Black women were embracing their natural curls and not visiting salons. Additionally, the brand became the first and only hair tool company to be certified Plastic Neutral by rePurpose Global during this time. For its loyal followers, this added to the brand’s appeal. With this new boost of funding, it’s amazing to see where Kazmaleje is headed in 2021.

About Kazmaleje:

Founded in Miami, Florida, in 2019, Kazmaleje has taken the hair world by storm with its strong and gentle detangling combs and picks for curly-haired women. Sisters LaToya, LaTrice and LaTasha Stirrup founded the company after being unable to find the proper hair tools for their delicate textured hair. The KurlsPlus line of tools makes all days good hair days! It’s haircare for the everyday goddess. Follow them on Instagram @kazmaleje.

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