Pharrell Williams Launches Black Ambition Non-Profit to Help Black and Latinx Entrepreneurs

Pharrell Williams at Barclaycard British Summer Time Event in Hyde Park in London, UK, Jul 10, 2016 — Photo by Twocoms

Pharrell Williams has launched a non-profit called Black Ambition, which aims to support Black and Latinx entrepreneurs in tech, design, healthcare, and consumer products/services start-ups.

The “Happy” singer-songwriter tweeted a video Wednesday morning explaining the purpose of the organization: “Our goal is to close the opportunity and wealth gap through entrepreneurship… investing capital and resources in high-growth startups founded by Black and Latinx HBCU students and entrepreneurs.”

Williams added in a press release, “Recent events and tragedies have illustrated the always existent stark divisions in the American experience, and while entrepreneurship has long been a tenet of the American dream, marginalized people have faced long-standing barriers to success.”

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As part of its launch, the non-profit is awarding two prizes, The Black Ambition HBCU Prize and The Black Ambition Prize.

The Black Ambition HBCU Prize will provide seed money and support to current and former HBCU students who are founding members of early-stage start-ups. The grand prize winner will receive up to a $250,000 prize and at least nine additional teams will receive smaller prizes.

The Black Ambition Prize will award $1 million to the winner, and smaller prizes for up to 9 additional teams. Ventures must have at least one founder or co-founder that identifies as Black/African/African American and/or Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx.

Applications for the competition are due by Feb. 18, 2021 and the finalists will be selected by June. A national pitch competition to judges and investors will take place in July 2021.

Additional information can be found on the Black Ambition Prize website.