When a business decides to raise money from private investors, it will need the proper legal support to avoid costly delays, or worse, civil and criminal penalties. This type of legal support is called securities law. Securities law is a complex area of business law that ensures the legal compliance of raising capital from investors. However, this complex law carries a hefty cost and is often out of the budget for the average entrepreneur.
This is especially true for Black and other underrepresented entrepreneurs who lack the necessary startup capital, sometimes called the "friends and family round," to pay for the proper legal and other professional support that is necessary for the formation and capitalization of their businesses. Systematic disinvestment and unequal financing by banks, venture capital, and other traditional funding sources have neglected underrepresented business owners, especially Black women entrepreneurs. This is especially true during times of economic crisis. For instance, 41% of Black-owned businesses have permanently closed their doors due to COVID-19 shutdowns, making it the largest business loss of any group. What makes matters worse is that these numbers are expected to rise in 2021.
Elizabeth L. Carter, Esq., LLC is committed to increasing the racial and gender diversity of the field of securities law by training other law students of color within crowdfunding securities law, and providing a more welcoming, culturally-competent and representative attorney-client engagement process for underrepresented entrepreneurs who face unique challenges to raising capital and gaining access to professional support services for their enterprises. Even more important, studies have shown that underrepresented clients fare better when represented by attorneys who share their cultural, racial, gender, and/or socioeconomic background. This is especially true for Black clients.
The #BlackCapitalMatters Gift Legal Fund will help us go even further! The funding towards this Gift Fund will help subsidize securities legal services for underrepresented businesses, nonprofits, cooperatives, and investment funds.
While it is most helpful to us if you give directly to ELC, those who wish to receive a tax deduction (typically desired by those who itemize) can donate to the Law Center and the funds will be passed on to this project.