Apple invests $ 100 million to support entrepreneurs of color

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Apple said it is investing $ 100 million (roughly Rs.730 crore) in a new round of projects to tackle systemic racism, including its first foray into venture capital funding to support entrepreneurs of color .

Apple said it would invest $ 10 million (roughly Rs 73 crore) in a fund with Harlem Capital, a New York-based start-up venture capital firm, to help finance 1,000 out of 20 companies. years. Apple will invest $ 25 million (roughly Rs.180 crore) in Siebert Williams Shank’s Clear Vision Impact Fund, which provides financing to small and medium-sized businesses, with a focus on minority-owned businesses.

Apple will become a limited partner in funds at a time.

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“There is a lack of diversity among venture capital and bank lenders,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, told Reuters. “We looked for where we thought there was an opportunity for our resources to do good things.”

The efforts are part of Apple’s $ 100 million (roughly Rs.730 crore) racial equality and justice initiative announced last year after the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, two blacks killed by the police.

Apple is contributing $ 25 million (approximately Rs. 180 crore) to the Propel Center, a 50,000 square foot facility in Atlanta where historically black colleges and universities will collaborate on entrepreneurship, application development and development programs. other subjects. The iPhone maker is running two grant programs to help design silicon and hardware engineering degree programs for historically black schools.

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Apple will also create an app development academy in Detroit, its first in the United States. The academy is offering a free 10 to 12 month course and will aim to teach 1,000 students per year coding, design and marketing skills. 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 over 50,000 small businesses that are owned by Blacks and Maroons. And so it seemed to us that there was an entrepreneurial opportunity. . “

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© Thomson Reuters 2020


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