Contribution to PCF’s Diverse Ventures Fund Empowers Underrepresented Business Owners
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#BlackEconomicMobility—Pinellas Community Foundation (PCF) has received $250,000 from JPMorgan Chase to support the “Diverse Ventures” program, which aids minority entrepreneurs and small business owners. The two-year commitment will build capacity and forge connections among grassroots business-support organizations serving minority entrepreneurs. Diverse Ventures builds upon work done by the Pinellas Community Foundation through its Social Opportunity Works Fund, supporting small businesses and minority businesses during the pandemic.
The program will borrow from national models of success in entrepreneurial support to help strengthen business-support organizations throughout Tampa Bay to serve minority and underserved business owners better. Diverse Ventures will partner with public, private and philanthropic organizations committed to equitable economic development and wealth-building in minority communities.
According to a report by the McKinsey Institute for Black Economic Mobility, the median White family wealth is more than ten times that of the median Black family. Entrepreneurship and business ownership ─ particularly community-based businesses ─ can be an important factor in building wealth for business owners and the people they employ and closing the Black-White wealth gap.
Research and advocacy group One Community found that while 14% of businesses in St. Petersburg were Black-owned, they accounted for only 1% of business revenue. Further a study from the JPMorgan Chase Institute found that Black-owned businesses and Hispanic-owned businesses may be disproportionally affected during economic downturns.
“Most of the philanthropic capital awarded by JPMorgan Chase will be strategically invested to help nonprofit organizations that work with minority business owners build their capacity,” said Duggan Cooley, CEO of Pinellas Community Foundation. “We are very grateful for JPMorgan Chase’s support in the form of capital as well as their small business expertise. Together, we aim to strengthen the regional ecosystem of small business support and make it more accessible for all.”
By building capacity where diverse-owned startups and small businesses are currently being served and creating new access points to under-utilized resources, this program will enhance and diversify the entrepreneurial ecosystem and help more Black and minority business owners access the training, resources, and capital they need to prosper.
“At JPMorgan Chase, we are constantly seeking innovative ways to address the disparities faced by minority entrepreneurs in the communities we serve,” said Maria Escorcia, Southeast Region Executive, Global Philanthropy for JPMorgan Chase. “We believe that supporting the Pinellas Community Foundation and programs such as Diverse Ventures is not just about providing monetary aid; it’s about empowering communities, fostering innovation and creating a robust support network, to help this community thrive.”
The Diverse Ventures program will kick off by creating an inventory of regional business-support resources and a directory for entrepreneurs, which will highlight data about under and over-utilized resources, gaps in the network, and provide a roadmap for Diverse Ventures grantmaking.
Duggan Cooley, PCF CEO