Black Venture Capital Funds: A Necessary Financial Vehicle
“Black funds are a critical tool in the fight against inequality and social injustice.”
Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike, and his wife Penny have recently invested $400 million in the Rebuild Albina project, a non-profit aimed at strengthening Portland’s Black community. This new fund has joined a growing number of “Black funds” that seek to address inequality and promote economic and social justice for Black communities[source].
Black funds are financial vehicles designed to provide capital and resources to Black communities, addressing historic economic and social injustices that have created barriers to prosperity. These funds have grown in popularity in recent years, as more people become aware of the need for investment in Black-owned businesses and Black-led organizations.
The Rebuild Albina project is one such example of a Black fund. Its aim is to transform current and future generations of Black Portlanders through investments in education, place, culture, and belonging in the Albina community. This approach aligns philanthropic and investment capital to address long-term problems and create a commonwealth for the community with tangible outcomes in affordable housing and education.
Another example is the Black Economic Development Fund (BEDF), which was established in 2020 to support the long-term economic prosperity of Black communities. The fund aims to invest in Black-owned businesses, support Black entrepreneurs, and promote economic development in Black neighborhoods. The $250 million fund includes investments from Netflix, Paypal, Square, HubSpot, Aflac, Costco, Dicks Sporting Goods, ThermoFisher Scientific, Wayfair, McKinsey & Company, and Dupont[Source].
The National Black Bank Foundation and the National Black Chamber of Commerce are also important players in the Black fund space. The National Black Bank Foundation supports Black-owned banks and credit unions, which can provide access to capital and financial services for underserved communities. The National Black Chamber of Commerce focuses on promoting economic growth and development in Black communities by supporting Black-owned businesses and advocating for policies that benefit Black entrepreneurs.
Another significant fund is the Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI), which is a non-profit organization that focuses on improving the health and wellness of Black women and girls. BWHI advocates for policies and programs that promote health equity for Black women, as well as providing education and resources to help Black women and girls lead healthier lives.
Black funds are a critical tool in the effort to create prosperity in all communities. These funds help to create opportunities for Black communities to thrive. Phil Knight’s investment in the Rebuild Albina project is just one example of the power of Black funds to promote economic and social justice for Black communities. By supporting these funds and investing in Black-led organizations, we can all play a role in building a just society.
At Dream Exchange, we strive to create these same outcomes by providing a stock exchange that offers access to a liquid marketplace for companies that are not the current focus of the traditional exchanges. Our focus is on increasing access to capital markets for businesses in every corner of our society. The primary goal of Dream Exchange is to address the significant disparities that exist in accessing capital markets, especially for small-to-mid sized businesses.