Apple Invests Millions To Support Entrepreneurs Of Color As Part Of Race For Racial Justice By Reuters

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© Reuters.

By Stephen Nellis (Reuters) – Apple Inc (NASDAQ 🙂 said Wednesday it was investing $ 60 million in a new round of projects aimed at challenging systemic racism, including its first foray into venture capital funding to support entrepreneurs of color. Apple said it would invest $ 10 million in a fund with Harlem Capital, an early-stage venture company based in New York, with the goal of helping finance 1,000 companies over 20 years. Apple will invest $ 25 million in Siebert Williams (NYSE 🙂 Shank’s Clear Vision Impact Fund, which provides financing to small and medium-sized businesses, with an emphasis on minority-owned businesses. Apple will become a limited funding partner in both. “There is a lack of diversity between venture capital and bank funders,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president for environment, policy and social initiatives, told Reuters. “We looked where we thought there were opportunities for our resources to do good things.” The efforts are part of Apple’s $ 100 million justice and racial equality initiative announced last year after the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, two blacks killed by police. Apple is contributing $ 25 million to the Propel Center, a 50,000-square-foot facility in Atlanta where historically black colleges and universities will collaborate on programs on entrepreneurship, app development and other topics. The iPhone maker is establishing two grant programs to help design a silicon and hardware engineering curriculum for historically black schools. Apple will also establish an application development academy in Detroit, the first in the United States. The academy offers a free 10-12 month course and will aim to teach 1,000 students a year skills in coding, design and marketing. The Detroit facility will work with Michigan State University. “We wanted to see more black and brown developers,” Jackson said, noting that Apple has long worked with historically black schools. “They tend to focus on the southeastern part of the United States. But Detroit has more than 50,000 small businesses that are owned by black and brown. So we felt there was a business opportunity.”

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