Pharrell has announced the launch of his new non-profit Black Ambition. The multi-hyphenate explained that he was motivated to create the initiative after witnessing the civil unrest that swept the nation earlier this year.
Black Ambition aims to support Black and Latinx entrepreneurs who are working on launching startups in the fields of tech, design, consumer product, healthcare and services. “We need a voice,” said Pharrell at a press conference. “Because we don’t have enough of the market share our kids end up having issues with disproportionate access to health care disproportionate access to education. And as a culture, we have disproportionate access as it pertains to legislation and representation.”
The initiative hopes to fortify the “pipeline of talented entrepreneurs and close the opportunity and wealth gaps,” and it’s doing this by offering a Black Ambition HBCU Prize. Alumni or students currently enrolled who identify as Black, African, African American, Hispanic or Latinx will have a chance to make a pitch for their companies. The selected company will receive a prize of $1M USD, while nine other close contenders will be given smaller funds. Black Ambition has gotten support from others, too, like Bridgespan Group (a global NGO), adidas, Chanel and Virgil Abloh, who designed Black Ambition’s logo.