Bank of America Invests Over $500 Million in Minority and Female Entrepreneurs
Originally published in The Ritz Herald
Bank of America has announced that it is investing over $500 million in equity to support funds led by women and minorities, which is more than double its initial commitment of $200 million.
The bank has invested in over 150 funds that have funded more than 1,000 companies across 40 states. A diverse group of 1,500 entrepreneurs runs these companies and provide employment to more than 21,000 people.
“We work across our company to address critical needs in our communities, including the lack of access to capital that diverse business owners face as they start or grow their businesses,” said Tram Nguyen, Global Head of Strategic and Sustainable Investments at Bank of America. “We want to empower the talented fund managers who keenly understand how to identify and support those business owners. Each time we support a minority- or women-led fund, they, in turn, support diverse entrepreneurs, which ultimately helps us toward achieving our goal to advance racial equality and economic opportunity.”
Fund managers are not only breaking down barriers but also investing in companies that promote change. Nasir Qadree, a graduate of an HBCU, founded Zeal to support underrepresented founders in scaling their businesses. As an early investor in Esusu, a Black-owned unicorn, Zeal has helped provide rent reporting and data solutions for credit building to immigrants and minorities.
Samara Hernandez, the General Partner of Chingona Ventures, was the sole active fund in the Midwest initiated and led by a Latina when Bank of America invested. The fund focuses on supporting entrepreneurs with distinctive backgrounds who establish companies in markets that are frequently disregarded. For instance, Papaya is a STEM tutoring organization that caters to underserved students by offering bilingual services to bridge the educational gap.
Bank of America is dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners from all backgrounds by providing them with the necessary capital and resources to stimulate economic growth in their communities. For more information on Bank of America’s efforts to support diverse funds and entrepreneurs, please visit their website.