Entrepreneur Tanya Sam is on a mission to help level the playing field for business owners. The nurse-turned-tech-entrepreneur, who appears on the 12th season of the Bravo reality show "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," is also working to help others achieve their business goals. Seeing a lack of capital support for women and minority-led businesses, for example, she recently founded The Ambition Fund, an investment company focused on funding such underrepresented business owners.
Sam says the best money advice she ever got was to start money conversations early to prevent unhealthy relationships with saving.
Here's what else she says about the importance of talking about money, as well as about her efforts to support minority-led businesses.
In families, I think one of the things that we will see being really beneficial is speaking very earnestly about saving and investing, especially in our church communities.
I spoke at a church the other day, [where members talked] about their 10% giving. But what about the 90% where you can actually grow and multiply your money and teach kids to have that thrifty mindset from a young age?
Video by Mariam Abdallah
I think, generations ago, we didn't talk about money. And I think that has led to some unhealthy savings behaviors.
I love having these conversations about money. I love putting these money questions on the table. And I'm very passionate about helping more women, more underrepresented founders, build these scalable companies, and these scalable dreams.
I think that the more we start to have more people on the other side of the table that are writing checks, have that diversity of thought, and can recognize markets because they're expanding into areas that are specific to their own families and other people that look like them, we'll start to see more movement in the creation of entrepreneurship and what's important.
Black people and people of color have been creating businesses for years and years, but typically they're bootstrapped. What we're really trying to do is help them create companies that are so successful, that we can have more layers of multigenerational wealth created through these companies.
We're creating jobs for other people in our community, about things that we really care about that we can solve problems for.
I think one of the easiest things about how the everyday person can help support women and minority businesses is to number one, shop small business. I know sometimes the easy button is to go to the big box stores. Look in your neighborhood, look around the areas where you live, and look for those small stores that need your support.
For example, Femly, the investment I just made, it's a black founder and she is doing an organic and sustainable feminine product. I've been using the same feminine products for decades just because that's what I did. So, you know, once consumers become more educated and they understand the other products that are out there, it's being able to try new products and support smaller brands that I think really moves the needle for a lot.
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
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