In a press release, JPMorgan Chase announced that its Entrepreneurs of Color Fund would invest $3 million to support minority entrepreneurs in Chicago’s South and West Sides. It will also invest $1 million through Ascend2020 in business mentoring programs at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University.
The investment follows in the footsteps of previous investments that JPMorgan Chase made in Detroit, San Francisco and South Bronx. The Detroit fund resulted in 52 minority small businesses receiving funds and more than 740 new or preserved jobs being supported.
The US Census showed that only 18 percent of businesses in Chicago are owned by people of color, and only 2 percent are African Americans, even though minority and women entrepreneurs have the fastest growth according to the press release.
“South and West Side neighborhoods hold tremendous economic opportunity, but we can do more to ensure that everyone has a chance to participate in Chicago’s continued growth,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase. “The Entrepreneurs of Color Fund has unlocked capital and created hundreds of jobs in Detroit, and now we’re excited that Chicago small businesses will have the same chance to grow and succeed.”