Bank of America announced that it has committed more than $500 million in equity investments to minority- and women-led funds, more than doubling its initial $200 million commitment.
The bank has committed equity to more than 150 funds, which to date have invested in over 1,000 companies that span 40 states. These companies are led by 1,500 diverse entrepreneurs and employ over 21,000 people.
“We work across our company to address critical needs in our communities, including the lack of access to capital that diverse business owners face as they start or grow their businesses,” said Tram Nguyen, Global Head of Strategic and Sustainable Investments at Bank of America.
“We want to empower the talented fund managers who keenly understand how to identify and support those business owners. Each time we support a minority- or women-led fund, they in turn support diverse entrepreneurs, which ultimately helps us toward achieving our goal to advance racial equality and economic opportunity.”
Zeal Capital Partners, founded by Nasir Qadree, provides overlooked founders with the resources they need to scale toward their next stage of growth.
This includes being an early investor in Esusu, now one of the few Black-owned unicorns, which provides tools to help immigrants and minorities provide rent reporting and data solutions for credit building.
Not only are fund managers breaking down barriers themselves, but they are also investing in companies looking to catalyze change.
Chingona Ventures, led by General Partner Samara Hernandez, was the only active fund in the Midwest started and led by a Latina at the time of Bank of America’s investment. The fund targets founders with unique backgrounds creating businesses in markets that are often overlooked, like Papaya, a bilingual STEM tutoring organization to close the educational gap for underserved students.