(Photo by Stephen Babcock)
JPMorgan Chase is expanding a fund that aims to expand access to capital to entrepreneurs of color to the region, including Baltimore.
The financial giant said Monday that its Entrepreneurs of Color Fund will expand to Greater Washington with $6.65 million. Along with $3.65 million from JPMorgan Chase, the fund also includes $2 million from Capital Impact Partners and $1 million from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation.
Similar funds are already up and running in Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco and the South Bronx. It comes on the same day as the firm announced a new nationwide initiative called Advancing Black Pathways that looks to grow efforts to build wealth.
“Investing in minority-owned businesses is one of the most effective ways we can drive job growth and economic opportunity in the region,” said Peter Scher, head of corporate responsibility and chairman of the Mid-Atlantic region for JPMorgan Chase, in a statement. “The Greater Washington region is thriving, but opportunity is not shared equally. With the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, we are bringing a proven model that expands access to capital across our region and will help ensure that more people have a chance to participate in our growing economy.”
Partnering locally with Harbor Bank of Maryland, the Fund aims to provide low-cost loans and business support to minority-owned businesses in Baltimore and Prince George’s County.
The effort also includes work to complement initiatives on small business growth and impact investing from partners such as the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Baltimore Community Foundation.
It’s the latest regionally focused effort from the financial giant. In December, the company said Baltimore city schools would be among those receiving support from a $6 million donation designed to create pathways to tech careers.
It all follows last year’s announcement that the company plans to open 70 bank branches in the region, with 20 percent in low-to-moderate income communities.
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