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Pharrell Gives Blk Entrepreneurs the Support They Need

Pharrell Williams is giving Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs the financial support they need with his foundation Black Ambition.

Pharrell Williams is changing the game.

“Equity is more important than equality” is a testament that Williams holds dear as he moves forward with his $1 billion plan for Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs with his Black Ambition Foundation, founded in 2020. After this foundation held its third annual Demo Day this month, they were able to award over 30 companies more than a cumulative $3 million. According to forbes.com, “The organization addresses the lack of capital for startups among Black and Hispanic communities and estimates that since its inception it has awarded $10 million combined to more than 100 companies. Black Ambition’s partners include the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Chanel, Billionaire Boys Club, and the Rockefeller Foundation are also Black Ambition partners.”

Not only is Williams the Creative Director of Louis Vuitton, but he continues to strongly advocate for building up the community and establishing generation wealth. The late fashion icon and mogul, Virgil Abloh, was the former Creative Director of Louis Vuitton and he contributed to the design logo of the Black Ambition. Throughout mentoring of more than 750 entrepreneurs and raising of nearly $100 million in venture capital, Williams’ plans to achieve his plan of reaching $1 billion by 2030. According to forbes, “‘We need real change,’ Williams tells Forbes. “We can’t keep waiting. Our parents and their parents — for them, equality was No. 1. And for us, equality is absolutely on the list, but equity is more powerful than equality.”

Black Ambition’s plan to bridge the wealth gap for Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs will set an entirely different and advanced trajectory for the future of society. According to bet.com, “The competition kicked off with a nationwide search that was narrowed down to 50 finalists, then the final 36. At the New York event, three businesses received top honors. The grand prize of $1 million was awarded to Antoinette Banks, CEO and Founder of Expert IEP. This parent-facing app optimizes existing Individualized Education Plans with predictive AI for children diagnosed with a disability. Other top prize winners included ECOMSPACES, a one-stop-shop for e-commerce solutions ranging from product photography to order fulfillment, and HBCU grand prize winner, Monocle, a social e-reader that creates a community-focused reading experience, who were awarded $250,000 and $200,000, respectively, towards their ventures.”

Although some fans or entrepreneurs may not be aware of the Black Ambition, the organization has now helped over 5,000 businesses and awarded $10 million to finalists. The motive is for underserved communities to be given the same opportunities that their counterparts may have access to and take their aspirations to the next level with adequate funding.

Hopefully more incentives within underserved communities will begin to assist and provide more opportunities for success.

 

By Kori Barnes,  University of Southern California

Instagram: @korixnicole

 

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Written by Kori Barnes

Hi! I can eat an entire jar of pickles in one setting and I LOVE to binge watch shows on Netflix. One of the most important quotes to me:
“and in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”

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