There's big news in the tech space.
It's no secret that women of color are the fastest growing sector of female entrepreneurs in the U.S., and companies are taking notice of the growing trend. Last week, JPMorgan Chase announced a $1 million investment to support Black and Hispanic women-led startups in the tech space, a plan that offers support in the ever-changing landscape of entrepreneurship.
The move is a part of the global financial services firm's $150 million Small Business Forward initiative, put in place to provide flexible financing and other support to "underserved women, minority and veteran-owned small businesses."
Half of the investment will go to two projects within DIDTechnology Inc. (digitalundivided), "a social enterprise founded in 2013 to support Black and Hispanic women in innovation-focused entrepreneurship," a press release read.
“Women of color have not had equal access to the resources they need to be successful in business,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase. “My hope is that our investment continues to help unlock doors for Black and Hispanic women entrepreneurs to grow and showcase their tech startups to get ahead once and for all.”
“The data highlighting the barriers female entrepreneurs and founders of color face gaining access to the capital, mentoring and networking they need to have a chance to succeed is clear,” said Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation and Chairman of the National Geographic Society. The foundation, which supports digitalundivided, works to uplift female entrepreneurs and founders of color.
“That’s why it is so important to have champions like JPMorgan Chase join us in investing and supporting efforts like digitalundivided and the development of an ecosystem that ensures anyone from anywhere can have access to the American Dream," Case continued. "It is good for the investors, the entrepreneurs and for the American economy.”
Another $500,000 will be invested in the launch of iNTENT Manifesto, "an educational and investment platform based on good design, intent and investment to drive meaningful amounts of capital to women of color tech startups," according to the press release.
As a part of JPMorgan Chase's Women's History Month observance, the firm will hold a panel Thursday to discuss global philanthropy and women on the move.
Panel participants will include ESSENCE's own Michelle Ebanks, President of ESSENCE Communications Inc., who will serve as a moderator. Lauren Tyler, Global Head of Human Resources, J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Kathryn Finney, Founder & CEO, digitalundivided will also be in attendance.
"At ESSENCE, this conversation matters to us. We are more than aware of the tremendous impact this investment will have on our audience—many who are also entrepreneurs," Ebanks said.
"We are more than committed to serve the needs and interests of multigenerational Black women around the world in an even more elevated and comprehensive way—and this partnership is an amazing way to accomplish this goal."