Pharrell Williams launches nonprofit for Black and Latino entrepreneurs
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Pharrell Williams on Wednesday launched an initiative dubbed Black Ambition, which aims to support Black and Latinx entrepreneurs starting businesses in technology, design, healthcare and other industries. 

“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 said 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,” he continued. 

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According to a press release detailing the launch, the initiative will also include two competitions that “culminate in one major national event” set to take place summer 2021. 

One of the competitions, titled “The Black Ambition HBCU Prize,” will allow students and graduates from Historically Black Colleges and Universities to win prizes and receive mentorship "as they develop seed or early-stage ideas and launch companies in tech, design, healthcare, and consumer products and services,” the announcement states. 

The other competition, called "The Black Ambition Prize," will recruit and support early-stage companies in the same fields.

“In addition to financial awards, the entrepreneurs will receive mentorship and feedback as well as access to peer networks and expert connections. All screened applicants will receive access to online resources, information about business resources, and high-level feedback,” the announcement also states.

“In July 2021, the two competitions will culminate in teams competing for these prizes by presenting to luminary judges and investors,” it continues. Competing entrepreneurs can receive financial awards, mentorship and be linked with investors.

Williams will be partnering with brands like Adidas, Chanel, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, The Rockefeller Foundation, Tony’s Chocolonely and the Visa Foundation as part of the nonprofit effort, according to the press release.