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Stacey Abrams on two major barriers for diverse founders

Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams joins 'Influencers with Andy Serwer' to discuss the biggest challenges for small business owners.

Video Transcript

ANDY SERWER: What are the biggest barriers that hold back diverse founders, and what should be done about it?

STACEY ABRAMS: The first is access. Very few actually know where to go to get the money. And if you know where to go, you don't necessarily the code word to get inside. And so the first is access.

The second is expectation. If you are a man-- if you're a white guy-- you can fail several times and come back and say, let me try again. But if you're a woman, if you're a person of color, and if you're a woman of color, you get basically one strike and you're out.

And so there has to be level setting of expectations because small businesses make mistakes. They stumble. They do not succeed.

Laura and I had a business that succeeded, and then we let it go out of business, a business that failed because we couldn't grow it, and then a third business that is doing exceptionally well. But under the rubric that currently exists, after our second failure, we would be out of jobs. We have to change the expectations and right size them.

And then the third is that there has to be a reevaluation of what we can get from these small businesses, especially women-owned and minority businesses, meaning that not everything is a unicorn. If everything's a unicorn, there are no horses. So we've got to recognize that there are some thoroughbreds out there that just need some cultivation and access. And we have to reevaluate what that looks like in terms of the right investment.