This week, Pharrell Williams revealed his latest initiative with the launch of Black Ambition. The new program is a non-profit that focuses on aiding Black and Latinx entrepreneurs within the sectors of tech, design, healthcare, consumer products, and services.
“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,” Pharrell expressed in a statement. “With Black Ambition, the goal is to help strengthen the pipeline of talented entrepreneurs and close the opportunity and wealth gaps derived from limited access to capital and resources.”
The announcement is also paired with the Black Ambition HBCU Prize which offers cash prizes and mentorship to current and former HBCU students in order to further seed or early-stage startups. The grand prize winner will receive $250,000 while nine additional qualifiers can look forward to smaller award amounts.
Currently, applications are open for eligible teams. Requirements all for teams to include at least one current HBCU undergrad or grad student, one recent HBCU alum or former student within two years of graduation or attending.
“We have to support our Black institutions,” Williams added. “They have done so much for us. Even if I didn’t go myself, I’ve seen the wonders that genius educators impart on those students.”
Respective information for the Black Ambition Prize and Black Ambition HBCU Prize can be found on Black Ambition’s official website.