Pharrell is continuing his support of minority-owned businesses with a brand new initiative entitled “Black Ambition,” whose goal is to reduce the wealth gap by helping out those who sometimes lack the access afforded to other groups. Pharrell explained the inspiration for the initiative in a statement.
“Recent events and tragedies have illustrated the always existent stark divisions in the American experience, and while entrepreneurship has long been a tenet of the American dream, marginalized people have faced long-standing barriers to success,” Pharrell said. “With Black Ambition, the goal is to help strengthen the pipeline of talented entrepreneurs and close the opportunity and wealth gaps derived from limited access to capital and resources.”
The Black Ambition initiative unveiled two awards for minority business owners. The first is The Black Ambition Prize, which aims to “provide a platform for eligible entrepreneurs to access growth capital, pitch feedback, and mentorship.” It awards mentorship and up to $1,000,000 in funding to Black or Latinx entrepreneurs who are in the fields of consumer products and services, design, healthcare, and tech.
The second award is The Black Ambition HBCU Prize, which “will help to fund high potential ideas with our capital that can spark and support the next generation of successful entrepreneurs.” Business owners and their companies will have the chance to win up to $50,000 in funding in one area and $250,000 in the other, with the opportunity for mentorship available in both. In order to qualify, applicants must be a current HBCU undergraduate or graduate student or have attended an HBCU within the past two years.