Apple Invests $100 Million to Back Entrepreneurs of Colour as Part of Racial Justice Effort

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FILE PHOTO: The Apple Inc. logo is seen hanging at the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, New York, U.S., October 16, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

Apple said it was putting $100 million (roughly Rs. 730 crores) into a fresh round of projects aimed at challenging systemic racism, including its first foray into venture capital funding to back entrepreneurs of colour.

Apple said it would invest $10 million (roughly Rs. 73 crores) in a fund with Harlem Capital, a New York-based early-stage venture firm, with the goal of helping fund 1,000 companies over 20 years. Apple will invest $25 million (roughly Rs. 180 crores) in Siebert Williams Shank’s Clear Vision Impact Fund, which provides financing to small- and mid-sized businesses, with an emphasis on minority-owned firms.

Apple will become a limited partner in funds at both.

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

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

Apple is contributing $25 million (roughly Rs. 180 crores) to the Propel Center, a 50,000-square-foot facility in Atlanta where historically Black colleges and universities will collaborate on programmes in entrepreneurship, app development and other topics. The iPhone maker is establishing two grant programmes to help design curriculum in silicon and hardware engineering for historically Black schools.

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