Apple said it is putting $ 100 million (about Rs 730 crore) into a new round of legislation aimed at challenging systemic racism, which includes the inclusion of the first entrepreneurs of color in venture capital funds.
Apple said it would invest $ 10 million (about Rs 73 crore) in a fund with New York-based early-stage firm Harlem Capital, with the goal of helping fund more than 1,000 companies over 20 years. Apple will invest $ 25 million (approximately Rs 180 crore) in the Sibert Williams Shank’s Clear Vision Impact Fund providing financing for small and medium-sized businesses with an emphasis on minority-owned companies.
Apple will become a limited partner in both funds.
“There is a lack of diversity between venture capital and banking funds,” said Lisa Jackson, vice president of environmental, policy and social initiatives. “We saw where we thought there was an opportunity to do good things for our resources.”
The efforts are part of Apple’s $ 100 million (about Rs 730 crore) racial equality and justice initiative, which was announced after the murders of two black men Briona Taylor and George Floyd, killed by police last year.
Apple is contributing $ 25 million (about Rs 180 crore) to the Propel Center, a 50,000-square-foot facility in Atlanta where historically Black colleges and universities will collaborate on programs in entrepreneurship, app development and other disciplines. The iPhone maker has historically been setting up two grant programs to help design courses in silicon and hardware engineering for black schools.
Apple will also set up an app development academy in Detroit, the first in the United States. The academy offers 10-to-12-month free courses and aims to teach 1,000 students skills in coding, design, and marketing a year. The facility in Detroit will work with Michigan State University.
“We wanted to see more Black and Brown developers,” Jackson said, noting that Apple has historically worked with black schools for a long time. “They are focusing on the southeastern part of the United States. But Detroit has more than 50,000 small businesses owned by black and brown people. And so it seemed to us that there was an entrepreneurial opportunity.”
© Thomson Reuters 2020
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