Bank of America revealed a $500m equity investment commitment to minority- and women-led funds, doubling its previous $200m pledge. 

More than 150 funds with equity commitments from the bank have so far invested in over 1,000 businesses across 40 states.

Over 21,000 people are employed by these businesses, which are run by 1,500 varied business owners.

“We work across our company to address critical needs in our communities, including the lack of access to capital that diverse business owners face as they start or grow their businesses,” said Tram Nguyen, global head of strategic and sustainable investments at Bank of America.

“We want to empower the talented fund managers who keenly understand how to identify and support those business owners. Each time we support a minority- or women-led fund, they in turn support diverse entrepreneurs, which ultimately helps us toward achieving our goal to advance racial equality and economic opportunity.”

Nasir Qadree established Zeal Capital Partners to give underappreciated start-ups the funding they require to advance to their next level of growth.

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This includes having made an early investment in Esusu, one of the few Black-owned unicorns that offers tools to assist minorities and immigrants in reporting their rent and finding data solutions for credit building.

Fund managers invest in organisations that want to drive change in addition to breaking down obstacles themselves.

At the time of Bank of America’s investment, Chingona Ventures, led by General Partner Samara Hernandez, was the only active Midwest fund founded and run by a Latina.

The fund focuses on entrepreneurs with distinctive backgrounds who are building companies in disadvantaged regions, such as Papaya, a bilingual STEM tutoring company that bridges the achievement gap for underprivileged pupils.

In order to support economic development, Bank of America is committed to providing entrepreneurs and small business owners from all backgrounds with the money and services they require.