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The 15th and 16th black women to ever raise $1M in capital are pioneers for WOC

At this point, the wage gap is a clear reality.

For Brown and Black women, the female wage gap is even more pronounced.

Here we are in 2017 and we just recently hit a new milestone regarding sex, race, and wages. But what about in the investment world?

The co-founders of Mented Cosmetics, short for ‘Pigmented,’ started their makeup line for women of color. Amanda Johnson and KJ Miller looked to raise $500,000, but got more than they bargained for when investors were offering over their set amount.

Forbes quoted Miller saying,

“Our customer is always clamoring for more. Our end goal is that women of color feel prioritized in the world of beauty.”

The Harvard graduates have been named the 15th and 16th Black women to reach $1M in capital.

“Word of mouth has been really exciting for us. Girls have been tagging their friends in their posts. The message is really resonating. Women of color were used to being treated as an afterthought. It’s not every day that you’re a priority.”

Forbes reported that the average start-up by a woman of color only made $36,000 in capital, versus a “$1.3 million the average failed startup led by a white man raises before going kaput.”

The company has also taken the interest of Hollywood starlets, such as Dewanda Wise.

Actress @dewandawise looks stunning in our Pretty in Pink! Thank you @makeupby_prettyininkbybeth for creating this gorgeous look. ・・・ #aboutlastnight Makeup on the beautiful @dewandawise for @elleusa Women In Hollywood Event @mavenartists _ Skin: @kevynaucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer x @narsissist Radiant Creamy Concealer Eyes: @maccosmetics Ultra Marine, and Gold Pigment Lip: @mentedcosmetics Pretty In Pink _ Stylist @chrishoran20 : : : : : : : : : : : : : #ellewomeninhollywood #redcarpet #noladarling #narscosmetics #kevynaucoin #macartistrelations #dewandawise #shesgottahaveit #teammaven #flawlessmakeup #blackgirlmagic #beauty #beautyeditorial #losangeles #newyorkmua #cleanbeauty #freshbeauty #makeupbyme #skincare #freshmakeup #makeuplove #glowingskin #makeupartistry #dewymakeup #freshskin #dewyskin #MakeupByBethanyG #HairByBethanyG #PrettyInInkByBeth

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Johnson told Forbes,

“We really think we’re onto something here at Mented. Even though women of color have a difficult time raising money, if there’s an under-served market, investors attack it.”

The makeup products appeal to women of color, but also to other activist industries; the makeup is 100% vegan.

The duo has been “bootstrapping” their product line since day one. Now, with the extra funding, they will expand their company and their range of products.

Venture capitalists iSeed Ventures, Outbound Ventures, and Built by Girls Ventures, were the backbone behind the $1M.

These two female entrepreneurs raise important questions:

1. Why is it still notable for a Black woman in America to raise $1M?

2. When will this become the norm?

Thankfully, we’re at least working towards a more diverse economic future. I guess only time will tell whether or not we’ll see a real change.