Shelly Bell had to rely on personal funding to launch Black Girl Ventures, an organization that creates access to community, capital, and capacity for Black and Brown women founders. A tax return and $5,000 from her mother helped get the nonprofit off the ground in 2016.

Since then, Black Girl Ventures has raised over $2 million for the largest pitch program for Black and Brown women in the world, funded more than 130 women founders, and received a $500,000 investment from Nike.

In today’s curation of must-read tech and innovation articles, the Plug In South LA Beat, we check out Bell’s technology-based game plan for bridging the funding gap:

Leveling the Playing Field

Black Girl Ventures Founder Turned Tax Refund into $500,000 Investment from Nike

Photo: Black Girl Ventures founder and CEO Shelly Bell. Credit: Shelly Bell on LinkedIn