A group of Black businessmen has joined forces in efforts to level the playing field for entrepreneurs of color through the creation of a venture capital fund, Black Enterprise reported.
Founded in 2015, Harlem Capital—an initiative designed to invest in businesses created by at least 1,000 diverse entrepreneurs over the next two decades—was developed to address racial disparities when it comes to getting access to capital, the news outlet writes. The Harlem Capital team is comprised of John Henry, an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Henri Pierre-Jacques, a private equity associate, Brandon Bryant, the creative director of a digital platform called the Wall Street Paper and Jarrid Tingle, a private equity investment professional.
The men team up with entrepreneurs who have products that generate revenue and provides them with guidance surrounding operations, marketing, and finances. “Harlem Capital is a diversity-focused early-stage investment firm. We’re on a mission to change the face of entrepreneurship,” said Henry in a video about the initiative. “The mission is to invest in over 1,000 diverse founders over the next 20 years. That’s a long horizon, but we’re committed to the cause.” Harlem Capital has worked with brands like Blavity, Beauty Bakerie, Stantt, and SeedCX.
Watch the video below to learn more about the vision behind Harlem Capital.
There are several initiatives that have been launched throughout the country that are designed to give diverse business owners a seat at the venture capital table. In December, the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund—a fund designed to provide support for Black entrepreneurs in Detroit—nearly tripled the amount of money that will be allocated towards helping Black business owners expand their companies. There was also a $5 million initiative launched in the city for Black developers so they could have the opportunity to play an integral role in the revitalization of Detroit.