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funding

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Largest Black Owned Mutual Fund Secures $200 Million Investment To Scale Minority Owned Businesses

Ariel Investments, the largest Black owned mutual fund, is launching a private investment firm, Ariel Alternatives, which will initially focus on funding and scaling minority-owned businesses. The move into private investments is a first in the company’s 38 year history.

Ariel Investments co-CEO Mellody Hobson along with Leslie Brun are the co-founders of Ariel Alternatives. Mr. Brun, an Ariel board member and founder of the investment firm, Hamilton Lane, will be its chairman and CEO and will lead the first initiative of Ariel Alternatives called “Project Black.”

The new fund, which has secured $200 million in initial funding from JPMorgan Chase, plans to invest in minority owned businesses and non minority owned businesses that will serve as leading suppliers to Fortune 500 companies.

The firm plans to infuse the non minority owned businesses with the capital and minority executive talent needed to qualify as a certified minority business. In order to qualify as a certified minority business, suppliers must be at least 51% minority owned, managed, and controlled, according to standards established by the National Minority Supplier Development Council.

According to Brun, Project Black aims to fill a massive diversity gap in the corporate America supply chain. Fortune 500 companies spend about 2% annually on minority-owned suppliers, well short of the 10% to 15% spending goals many corporations set last year.

Despite “announcements and pronouncements” by corporations about increasing the amount they spend with minority-owned suppliers, many have difficulty finding those with enough capacity to meet their needs, Brun said.

“We’re intending to create those minority suppliers of scale, in concert with our Fortune 500 relationships, to provide the solution to their issue, as well as create the opportunity for us to then leverage that into the social impact initiatives that we have,” he aded.

According to a release announcing the fund, “Project Black will forge a new class of Black and Latinx entrepreneurs. The initiative will seek to position these companies as leading suppliers to Fortune 500 companies — supporting supply chain diversity.”

Project Black plans to focus predominately on health care, industrial, media and marketing, outsourcing, manufacturing and packaging, technology, transportation and logistics, and financial and professional services.

 

Tony O. Lawson


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This Black Owned Payment Platform For Pharmacies Just Raised $1.3M

HealNow is a Black owned payment platform that helps pharmacies to improve patient onboarding and modernize their patient experience.

HealNow was founded by Halston Prox and Joshua Smith in 2018 and has now raised a total of $1.4M in reported equity funding.

black owned payment platform
Halston Prox

This includes the most recent seed funding round of $1.3M from investors that include Softbank Opportunity Fund, Alabama Futures Fund.

black owned payment platform
Joshua Smith

HeallNow allows patients to pay co-payments, schedule deliveries (or express pickup) and enter medical information online. They also enable pharmacies to offer online payments of prescriptions.

Their solution allows healthcare organizations to increase revenue by capturing more sales of prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and other medical products from every discharged patient. Keeping all pharmacy orders in-network.

 

Tony O. Lawson


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Black Owned Credit Unions You Should Know

Black banks get all the love but what about Black-owned credit unions? They are also important and in some ways, a better option than a bank.

When you open an account at a bank, you’re a customer. When you deposit money in a credit union account, you’re both a customer and an owner. The credit union uses the money that you and other members deposit to make loans to other credit union members, much like a bank.

Since a credit union’s main goal is to serve their members, they take the money that would have been profit and instead use it to help credit union members. Credit unions often do this by offering better rates on savings products and lower interest rates on loan products.

Black Owned Credit Unions

FAMU Federal Credit Union (Tallahassee, FL)

black owned credit union

Credit Union of Atlanta (Atlanta, GA)

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Federal Credit Union  (Toccoa, GA) 

black owned credit unions

South Side Community Federal Credit Union  (Chicago, IL) 

Southern Teachers & Parents Federal Credit Union (Baton Rouge/Thibodaux, LA) 

Hope Credit Union ( Jackson, MS)

black owned credit unions

St. Louis Community Credit Union  (St. Louis, MO)

Greater Kinston Credit Union  (Kinston, NC)

Concord Federal Credit Union (Brooklyn, NY)

Visions Federal Credit Union (Endicott, NY)

Urban Upbound Federal Credit Union  (Long Island City, NY)

Urban Upbound Federal Credit Union  (Queens, NY)

Faith Community United CU  (Cleveland, OH)

Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union  (Toledo, OH)

Hill District Federal CU  (Pittsburgh, PA)

Brookland Federal Credit Union  (West Columbia, SC)

Community Owned Federal Credit Union  (Charleston, SC)

Faith Cooperative Federal Credit Union  (Dallas, TX) 

Mt Olive Baptist Church FCU  (Arlington, TX)

Oak Cliff Christian Federal Credit Union  (Dallas, TX)

Hill District Federal CU  (Pittsburgh, PA) 

Howard University Employees Federal Credit Union  (Washington, DC)

Phi Beta Sigma Federal Credit Union (Washington, DC)

Virginia State University FCU  (Petersburg, VA)

black owned credit unions

 

– Tony O. Lawson

If you would like to add your credit union to the list, SUBMIT HERE.


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Fund Created to Help Black Farmers in Detroit Purchase Land in the City

On Friday, June 19, in honor of Juneteenth, a coalition of local food activists established a new fund to help Black farmers purchase land in Detroit. The Detroit Black Community Food Security NetworkOakland Avenue Urban Farm in the North End, and Keep Growing Detroit developed the Detroit Black Farmer Land Fund, which will help foster more land ownership among black farmers in the city who face greater barriers in purchasing property.

Jerry Hebron, a director for Oakland Avenue Urban Farm, described her farm’s challenges with acquiring the property they grow on in a Facebook live post. “We had a lot of issues with the acquisition process, particularly because we started out on a commercial district and the city of Detroit — although our work was very good — felt like there may be a higher and better use for the land,” she said. “So it took us about 15 years to make the first acquisition.” Since 2015, Hebron says that the farm has been successful in acquiring land by working with the city, but she is aware of other black farmers who have not had as much success.

Many people in the community lack the capital to compete with developers who have increasingly bought up large swaths of property in the city limits. “For several years I’ve found that it’s just easier for white growers to purchase land. It’s easier for them to navigate the system. And I find that it’s really an uneven playing field,” Tepfirah Rushdan, director of Keep Growing Detroit, said in an announcement shared to Youtube. “We all know that things are changing in the city. Development is happening at a quicker pace, and I’m worried that people who are growing on their land and they don’t own it, that they’re going to start to get displaced.”

Applications will be released in July for the funding and will be evaluated through a blind review process using an established rubric. The group plans to announce the winners in September. The project has already received nearly $16,000 since Friday on Gofundme. Donations can be made to the site or via CashApp to $detroitblackfarmer.

The need for more secure agriculture in the city has become even more evident since the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has sent shockwaves through the food system and disrupted the supply chain. At the same time, the nation is experiencing an uprising sparked by anger over the killing of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery, and other Black people.

 

Source: Detroit Eater

 

Related: The Ultimate List of Black Owned Farms & Food Gardens


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Black Banks That Are Still Operating In 2021

The number of Black banks operating in the U.S. fell 54 percent between 2001 and 2016. Many have either been acquired or have simply gone out of business.

We’ve compiled the most recent and up to date list of the banks that are still Black owned and managed and are still operating in 2021.

Black Banks

Alamerica Bank (Birmingham, AL)

Broadway Federal Bank  (Los Angeles, CA)

Carver Federal Savings Bank (New York, NY)

Carver State Bank (Savannah, GA)

Citizens Trust Bank (Atlanta, GA)

black banks
Citizens Trust Bank

Citizen Trust Bank (Birmingham, AL)

Citizens Bank (Nashville, TN)

Columbia Savings and Loan (Milwaukee, WI)

City National Bank (Newark, NJ)

Commonwealth National Bank (Mobile, AL)

First Independence Bank (Detroit, MI)

The Harbor Bank (Baltimore, MD)

GN Bank (Chicago, IL)

Industrial Bank (Washington D.C.)

black banks
Industrial Bank

Liberty Bank (New Orleans, LA)

Liberty Bank (Baton Rouge, LA)

Liberty Bank (Kansas City, MO)

Liberty Bank (Chicago, IL)

Liberty Bank (Jackson, MS)

Mechanics & Farmers Bank (Durham, NC)

OneUnited Bank (Miami, FL)

OneUnited Bank (Boston, MA)

United Bank of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA)

Unity National Bank (Houston, TX)

 

Tony O. Lawson


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