Wells Fargo is investing $6.6 million to ensure that Black entrepreneurs have a seat at the venture capital table, Black Enterprise reported.
In an effort to stimulate job creation and help minority-owned businesses grow, the bank is financially contributing to a dozen Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) across the country that provide funding for small Black-owned businesses, the news outlet said.
Through the bank’s initiative—dubbed Wells Fargo Works for Small Business: Diverse Community Capital—entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds will have access to valuable resources including education surrounding new business trends, marketing tools, technical assistance, and mentorship. The program was designed to level the playing field for business owners of color and to overcome the racial disparities in gaining access to capital.
“The social capital component allows CDFIs to collaborate, innovate, and better serve diverse small businesses—and when our small businesses succeed, so do the communities they serve,” Wells Fargo’s Diverse Community Capital program manager Connie Smith stated. Wells Fargo has reportedly invested a total of $75 million in Community Development Financial Institutions over the past year.
There have been several initiatives developed over the past few years that are designed to help small Black-owned businesses thrive. In December, the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund—a Detroit-based initiative that helps Black business owners expand their companies—grew from $6.5 million to over $18 million. Detroit is currently the fourth largest city in the country for entrepreneurs of color with nearly 50,000 minority-owned businesses.
SOURCE: Black Enterprise