Back in December, Pharrell Williams launched Black Ambition, a non-profit initiative dedicated to bridging the gaps to success for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs, specifically in the fields of tech, design, healthcare, consumer products and services start-ups. Now, just six months later, the impactful program has found a partner in luxury fashion house Chanel, and the marriage is masterfully pushing forward the mission.
Doing their part, Chanel has crafted a mentorship program focused on propelling the mission of female Black and Latinx entrepreneurs forward. The first initiative, which took place on June 11, was a powerful panel comprised of actress Tracee Ellis Ross, co-founder of Medley, Edith Cooper, CEO and co-founder of Good American, Emma Grede and co-founder and partner of Imaginary Ventures Nathalie Massenet.
The virtual panel covered topics such as building culture, the leadership path and road to success, the importance of mentorship and paying it forward to those who come after you and the explosion of opportunity for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs to identify and build untapped market opportunities.
“Historically Black and brown women do not have a stake in what they make and aren’t trained or taught, societally, culturally, to actually have equity in the things that they build,” Ellis-Ross said during the discussion. “I’ve been on this journey of learning and trying to understand how you take a dream out of your heart, out of your mind, and pull it up into the atmosphere. The more we build what we want and what we are looking for, the more our world is a reflection of who we actually are.”
The powerful discussion served as just part one of the two-part initiative. To come is a series of interactive mentorship workshops for the Black Ambition finalists, which will focus specifically on leveraging the unique expertise of the Chanel leadership community and their experts to aid finalists in building strong, successful brands.