Program Aimed At Improving Black Financial Health

By V-103

There's no shortage of talent when it comes to black entrepreneurs with cutting edge tech startup ideas. Yet, according to, only 7 percent of all startups have black founders.

In an effort to change that, investment bank and financial services company JP Morgan Chase has partnered with Startup Bus, the annual technological startup competition and entrepreneurship boot camp.

The Advancing Black Pathways Start Up bus rolled into Atlanta on July 26. The Gathering Spot is where 30 emerging entrepreneurs met with assigned local business persons and influencers for coaching on their product and their pitch.

Donte Miller and Harriett Williams, of Village Micro Fund, participated in the training program

Among the participants were Harriet Williams and Donte Miller, owners of Village Micro Fund, which they describe as a "social-impact firm" on the west side of Atlanta.

Williams and Miller say they participated in the Black Pathways Start Up project because more black tech businesses are needed in the community.

The winner of the pitch competition was SmallStreet with members from Washington DC, Brooklyn NY, Detroit MI, and Oakland CA

The winning pitch came from the team SmallStreet. According to Sekou Kaalund, Head of Advancing Black Pathways at JPMorgan Chase, "We are immensely proud of what the SmallStreet team was able to accomplish in such a short period of time. Launching a startup is a daunting endeavor, and to do it in just 72 hours is a massive achievement. The platform that SmallStreet has developed has the potential to help black-owned small businesses tackle one of their most critical challenges—gaining access to the capital they need to grow and scale.”  

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