By Tilly Rose
Last summer on L.E.V8 Women's at the Oxford Foundry, I had the privilege of learning from the truly inspiring Arlan Hamilton, Honorary Foundry Advisor and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, a VC investing in underrepresented founders.
Arlan went on her own remarkable journey from food-stamp recipient to a hugely successful venture capitalist, championing women, people of colour & LGBTQ founders.
This year, Arlan launched 'The Oxford-Arlan Hamilton & Earline Butler Sims Scholarship' at Oxford Uni.
The scholarship is available to UK undergraduates of Black African and Caribbean heritage who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, covering annual fees and living costs, and an internship grant to support a placement opportunity during the course.
On her visit to Oxford Uni in 2019:
'I said, "Where are the black people? I didn't see many as I walked. I saw some, but I didn't see many as I walked around. So I started this questioning of this is wonderful, I'm learning about the colleges and the undergrad housing and how Harry Potter it is, and how I would have loved to have attended, but I hoped and wished that more people who looked like me would have the experience. So by the end of that tour, that 45 minutes of walking around having just landed, I said out loud, "I want to start a scholarship for a black scholar."
I love that you can be studying anything and get the scholarship and that you also have the ability to take whatever that passion is and put it into a business, which is what I do on a daily basis and what I see surrounding us. I think I'm always going to think and believe that there needs to be more of us, more people represented who are black and from different backgrounds represented in those rooms. I wish for you a great success in whatever you do and it is an option for you.”
For more information on Arlan's scholarship, check out: http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/fees-and-funding/oxford-support/oxford-arlan-hamilton-earline-butler-sims-scholarship