Pharrell, Entrepreneurs

Pharrell Williams’ Black Ambition Initiative Announces 4th Annual Prize Competition For Black and Latino Entrepreneurs

Pharrell Williams' Black Ambition Initiative has announced its fourth annual prize competition for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs.

Pharrell Williams’ Black Ambition Initiative has announced its fourth annual prize competition.

The music and fashion mogul launched the non-profit to create a pathway to success for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs in technology, design, healthcare, and consumer product services startups.

In its mission to combat the barriers Black and Brown entrepreneurs have historically faced when trying to secure VC funding, Black Ambition’s 2024 prize competition will give 250 semi-finalists a chance to engage in a 3-month cohort-based mentorship program, with the ultimate winner receiving $1,000,000.

Eligible prize categories include technology (inclusive of Web 3.0), healthcare, consumer products and services, media and entertainment, and the newly added category, artificial intelligence.

“Our Black Ambition entrepreneurs have raised more than $95 million and generated more than $23 million in revenue,” Williams told Variety.

“There is a growing opportunity here and we need the investment community to continue leaning in. It’s great for people of color to have a seat at the table, but that’s not the only goal—we want to see more people of color at the head of the table.”

In the four years since Black Ambition’s launch, the program has granted close to $10 million to more than 100 Black and Hispanic founders while providing mentorship support to 750 entrepreneurs to support the longevity of their ventures. Along with the $93 million raised and $23 million generated in revenue, program participants have secured deals with major retail chains and gained recognition for their businesses, including landing on the Forbes 30 under 30 list.

New additions to the 2024 program include the dedicated HBCU Prize track with two special initiatives, the “So Ambitious HBCU Tour” and “So Ambitious HBCU pre-Accelerator program.”

The HBCU Tour will engage students in brainstorming, validate business concepts, and establish genuine companies with guidance from mentors, investors, and experienced entrepreneurs. The accelerator program is an eight-week, cross-institutional initiative offering entrepreneurship education, leadership development, and networking for students and recent alumni from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

“The Black Ambition Prize is more than a competition; the year-round support we provide our entrepreneurs—it’s a movement dedicated to unlocking the potential of underrepresented entrepreneurs and reshaping the landscape of innovation,” Felecia Hatcher, CEO of Black Ambition said.

“As we launch our fourth annual prize competition, we reaffirm our commitment to empower diverse founders and to bridge the racial wealth and opportunity gaps. Together, we are getting these entrepreneurs the investments, resources, and support they need during a time where the opposite is happening in the ecosystem.”

Applications for the fourth annual Black Ambition Initiative Prize Competition can be submitted here.

RELATED CONTENT: Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, A Tribe Called Quest, And More Among 2024 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Nominees