UBS Commits $3 Million To Invest In The Black Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
UBS Bank is standing by its word to bridge the gap of the racial divide.
According to a media release, the investment firm is committing $3 million to the Black Innovation Alliance (BIA). BIA is a 90-member organization supporting 375,000 entrepreneurs of color that works to close the racial wealth gap by building pathways that provide equitable access to resources, knowledge, and opportunities for Black entrepreneurs.
Over the next three years, UBS’ investment will support BIA’s Decade of Black Innovation, driving $1 billion to the Black entrepreneurial ecosystem. President of UBS Americas, Naureen Hassan, says this initiative will help the world’s issue with being inclusive. “Equitable access to capital, resources, and knowledge is critical in order to achieve a better, more inclusive world,” Hassan said. “We believe in the power of partnership to elevate traditionally underrepresented populations, and we’re proud to work with BIA to strengthen their ecosystem to help Black entrepreneurs thrive and grow successful businesses.”
The announcement comes at the right time. Last week, Black Enterprise reported DEI roles are on the chopping block from major corporations after being hired shortly after the death of George Floyd. Many were employed to support diversity efforts in the workplace, making pledges worth millions. However, many aren’t standing firm on those promises three years later. USB is working toward not being in that number.
Providing access to capital of this kind will open doors for Black entrepreneurs and other people of color. Forbes reported in 2020 that Black women-led startups only raised 0.6% of the total $150 billion venture capital funding. By the end of 2022, Black entrepreneurs saw a 45% decrease in financing. Kelly Burton, co-founder and CEO of BIA, says the problem with funding for Black business owners runs deep, but this investment can help. “Black founders and innovators need safe spaces to grow, build, even fail, but that doesn’t happen without support,” Burton said. “The more Black ISOs we support, the more Black entrepreneurs succeed.”