Pharrell's Nonprofit Opens Applications For 2nd Annual $1M Competition
By Cherranda Smith
March 22, 2022
Pharrell Williams' nonprofit opened applications to its second annual prize competition for entrepreneurs last week. This year's project is a HBCU Prize Competition in partnership with Adidas, Chanel, and the Rockefeller Foundation that seeks to launch Black and Latinx entrepreneurs into success.
Business owners in consumer products and services, media and entertainment, healthcare, technology, and Web3 can compete to win up to $1 million.
In an interview with Variety, Black Ambition CEO Felicia Hatcher said the competition is more than just financial gain, but that the organization helps cultivates pipelines of talent with mentorship and resources. As a result, 34 businesses were funded last year and those companies went on to raise over $40 million for their ventures.
"They are employers now," Hatcher said. "They are contributors to their own startup ecosystem. They are contributors to their communities. They're saving lives and saving the planet. ... It's about how do we support more funders and dive deeper into what that support looks like?"
I interviewed @Pharrell about the return of his pitch competition for Black & Latino entrepreneurs, who face investors' biases and lack of generational wealth. He says he's not willing to sit and wait for the gov't to fix the inequities that it created: https://t.co/HOwr6rbxeC— Talib Visram (@TalibVisram) March 22, 2022
"People who think that winning Black Ambition is about the prize money have it all wrong," 2021 Black Ambition winner and CEO of Livegistics Justin Turk, told the outlet.
"The network, the education, the resources are so much more important than the dollars. Being part of this organization has changed the trajectory of all our lives at Livegistics. Everyone who is part of this process will leave better off than they came. When 2022's competition is over, don't let money be the only thing you walk away with."
To learn more about the competition and apply, click HERE.