Building Wealth and Empowering Black Founders: The 10K Project's Mission
CEO Tawana Rivers Shares the Power of Investment Crowdfunding for the Black Community
Devin: What do you see as your superpower?
Tawana: I genuinely care about people at their core.
The 10K Project CEO, Tawana Rivers, is passionate about investing in the Black community. She sees it as a driver of wealth creation for both the investors and the entrepreneurs.
The 10K Project is an association of investors actively working to back Black founders. Not only does this help to address the challenges these entrepreneurs face, but it does so in a way that creates value for the investors, too.
Tawana Rivers, CEO of the Ten-K Project, supports black founders via investment crowdfunding.
The Ten-K Project teaches alternative ways to build wealth and invest in startups.
Tawana highlights the need for community support for black founders who often struggle to receive funding.
Accreditation rules that limit equal opportunities need to be reconsidered.
Tawana’s superpower is her 30-year experience in HR.
She hopes to inspire others to adopt the ability to care about people genuinely, even with their flaws.
Tawana emphasizes the importance of caring for others and being of service to them.
When one leads with a servant leadership mindset, it makes them think of others organically.
Our society needs to start caring about each other more to avoid devastating incidents such as shootings.
The Ten-K Project’s website and social media platforms have more information about their work in supporting black founders.
“We are a thriving community of entrepreneurs and investors,” Tawana says of The 10K Project. “We’re teaching the community how to build wealth, and we do it in really creative ways.”
“We’re looking at alternative investments,” she says. “There are enough people out there teaching people how to do traditional investments, but there are a lot of ways to make money in this amazing country that we live in.”
“We’re also big equity crowdfunding supporters,” Tawana says, highlighting one of her favorite alternative investments. “We believe in what the law is allowing everyday investors the opportunity to do, and so we’re teaching the community about that in hopes that we are able to make a difference with founders who are looking to seek capital.”
“We focus on the black founder because there are so many challenges with the Black founder getting the funding that they need to get these projects off the ground and to the next phase of success,” she says.
Tawana responded with an appropriate and soft scold when I expressed frustration at the lack of improvement in the data around venture capital funding for diverse founders. “If you’re frustrated by the reality, imagine how the Black founders feel.”
“They really need the community to rally around them, to lift them up, to love on them a little bit, to let them know they’re not forgotten,” she says.
Tawana doesn’t see this as a one-way street or charity. “It also gives the investor the opportunity, a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a project that could end up being very, very successful.”
Because she works to bring investors and entrepreneurs together, she sees herself as a “money matchmaker.”
Tawana will speak at SuperCrowd23, joining a panel discussion on investing like a professional. Andrew Savikas of Yieldtalk will moderate the panel. Dan Devlin of Doriot, Eric Cox of Netcapital and author Karen Rands will complete the roster.
“I want people to walk away from the event in its entirety, understanding investment crowdfunding and understanding that at all levels and from all demographics, founders need our support,” Tawana says. “Again, there’s something in it for us as investors, right? It’s not a one-sided deal. I love that about investment crowdfunding as well. It gives everyone an opportunity to grow, develop, to build.”
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In all her work, Tawana leverages her superpower. She cares about people.
How to Develop Caring About People As a Superpower
“I love people, and I understand the needs of people,” Tawana says. “Many of them come to us in broken states or without motivation. Some of them are overly confident, and you need to tame that a little bit because it’s not realistic. But I genuinely understand and care about people.”
She shared a powerful example of how caring for an individual made a big difference in a person’s life:
I had to fire someone one time. It was time. Like we all knew it was time, right? I brought her into my office. Her name is Barbara. I said, '“Miss Barbara, we need to talk.”
She said, “Okay.” She took a deep breath.
I said, “We've talked to you about this. We've had several conversations. It's just not working out. Don't think this is a good fit for you.
she looked at me and she started crying and she said, “Thank you so much.” She said, “I hate this job, but I never would have left on my own. So, thank you so much. I realize I need to be doing something else. I keep taking jobs like this, like in customer service. I keep taking these customer service jobs, even though they're not good for me, and I don't like them at all. Thank you so much.”
We hugged at the end of that conversation and we sat there for probably another hour and a half talking about what kind of job she should apply for. We then talked about the strengths and the things that she did well and ended up helping her rewrite her resume to highlight those strengths. I was a reference when she went to get another job that was not in customer service.
Each day, she chats with me. We will touch we will reach out to each other on social media, and we keep in touch. She's thriving. She's found something that she loves to do.
That is one of those things that started with a very difficult conversation that many before me had really been afraid to have because those difficult conversations are not easy.
I think that moment was pivotal in her life because she is living her best life now
“This is an acquired superpower,” Tawana said when I asked her to share some tips for learning to care about people, implying that we can all learn to do it better.
“Humans tend to be a little self-absorbed,” she began. Step one, she says, is to accept that we should care. “It’s looking at the fact that we should be of service to others.”
Tawana sees it as a leadership skill. “When we think of ourselves in a servant leadership manner, it makes us organically think of others. And if you lead with that, then you can’t go wrong.”
She offers two additional tips:
Stop and talk to people to get to know them a little better.
When you ask people how they’re doing in their day, really mean it.
By following Tawana’s example and advice, you can make caring about others a skill you can develop into a superpower enabling you to do more good in the world.
Tawana Rivers (she/her):
CEO, The 10K Project, Inc.
About The 10K Project, Inc.: The 10K Project is a thriving community of wealth builders comprised of entrepreneurs and investors. We educate the community on various alternative investment strategies to assist them in finding their passion. We are particularly fond of investment crowdfunding as a way for both parties to come together to build wealth.
Facebook Group: fb.com/groups/black10kgroup
Twitter Handle: @black10Kproject
Instagram Handle: @black10kproject.com
Biographical Information: Tawana Rivers is an entrepreneur, serial investor and 30-year HR professional. She is the CEO of The 10K Project, a thriving community of Wealth Builders. We focus on raising capital for Black Founders, educating Black investors and curating deal flow. She is the President of Blockchain Investor Group International and the Founder of OEO Holdings, a micro private equity firm that focuses on buying profitable cash-flowing businesses. She plans to spend this next phase of her life building wealth for people that have not only been underrepresented but also for those who‘ve been unseen.
Other URL: Roadtocrowdfunding.com