(Photo from Flickr user m01229, used under a Creative Commons license)
It’s Black History Month and JPMorgan Chase announced on Monday that the company is expanding a fund to provide capital and business training to entrepreneurs of color in the Washington, D.C. area.
The firm said Monday that its Entrepreneurs of Color Fund will expand to the D.C. region with $6.65 million in funding. JP Morgan Chase is contributing $3.65 million of those funds, with $2 million coming from Capital Impact Partners and $1 million from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation.
“Together, by expanding access to capital and supporting our local entrepreneurs, we’re giving more Washingtonians a fair shot,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement. “Small and local businesses are not only the backbone of our economy, they are also an opportunity for our residents to participate in D.C.’s prosperity. By expanding the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund to Washington, D.C., JPMorgan Chase will support the local work we are doing to create pathways to the middle class for residents across all eight wards.”
First launched in Detroit in 2015, the financial giant expanded similar funds to Chicago, San Francisco and the South Bronx, our sister site Technical.ly Baltimore reported. This fund expansion announcement came on the same day as the firm announced a new nationwide initiative called Advancing Black Pathways that looks to grow efforts to build wealth.
"This expansion aims to create jobs and unlock opportunities." $JPM's Thasunda Duckett on the launch of Advancing Black Pathways.
— J.P. Morgan (@jpmorgan) February 11, 2019
The fund’s reach will expand from Norther Virginia to Baltimore, with strategic local partnerships throughout the region. In the District, the fund will work with the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) and the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif) to provide capital to help rebuild and update aspects of Wards 7 and 8, including tech assistance for minority-owned commercial small businesses and investment in storefronts, inventory and service delivery systems. Capital Impact Partners will work with the fund to provide tailored low-cost capital to cultivate minority housing developers in the region. Wacif and the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development will work with the fund to help local minority-owned businesses scale and secure contracts from anchor institutions in the Washington region by offering guidance and capital.
This advancement follows last year’s announcement that the company plans to open 70 bank branches in the D.C. region, with 20 percent in low-to-moderate income communities.
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