It’s always empowering to see women deliberately taking action to change the world—unapologetically taking up plenty of space and using the fullness of multiple talents to do so. And speaking of empowered women, if you don’t know the name Meena Harris, you need to get to know it.
Beyond being the niece of Vice President Kamala Harris, Meena Harris is an activist, author, lawyer, and host who founded Phenomenal, an empowering clothing and merchandise line that went viral in 2020 after being worn by celebs including Lizzo, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Jessica Alba. (The proceeds went toward advocating for Black political power and communities of color.)
From merch, things went further into Phenomenal Media and impact marketing campaigns with the launch of Phenomenal Productions, which has a focus on content and partnerships that give voice to the stories of women and historically excluded communities. The platform also has an online community of more than 720,000 on Instagram alone.
And if even the mere mention of the word 'phenomenal' piqued your interest, yes, it is indeed a nod to our favorite literary icon, Maya Angelou, whose 1978 poem "Phenomenal Woman" is a certified mantra and a timeless classic.
Auntie Maya would proud.
Now, as co-founder of Phenomenal Ventures, a firm that invests in top enterprises, fintech, and commerce startups, Harris has yet another milestone to celebrate, furthering her mission to build impact and create legacy through action. The company reportedly closed $6 million in a debut early-stage-focused fund.
Firms including 776, Tribe Capital, Slow Ventures, and founders from tech companies including Dropbox, Quora, and Pinterest were all investors. Nearly half of the fund’s investors self-identified as women and 12% as Black.
The new fund allows Phenomenal Ventures to participate in pre-seed to Series A rounds, averaging amounts from $100,000 to $500,000, according to TechCrunch. The fundraising process took about a year, and the first half of the fund was closed in the first three weeks of fundraising.
Harris partnered with Helen Min, a former marketing executive, and colleague, for Phenomenal Ventures, an idea that came about in 2021, TechCrunch reports. “We feel really confident in our ability to succeed, but also wanted to start modestly and just do the work, despite some of the uncertainty around the economy,” Harris told the publication.
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Featured image by Leon Bennett/Getty Images