Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has announced the launch of his new consulting firm, KAI Eleven Consulting, LLC (KAI 11 Consulting), that aims to assist underrepresented entrepreneurs across industries, including Black and women-owned businesses.
According to a press release, KAI 11 Consulting — in partnership with KAI Family Foundation and Lockstep Ventures — will provide programs and mentoring services to offer business owners access to “development coaches, area managers and growth groups that offer roadmaps to scaling and cultivating efficiencies.”
The consulting firm will also make it a point to provide resources to help close the financial gap across various communities.
“We must give our people the proper resources and stewardship for them to win beyond traditional investment vehicles,” founder Irving said in a statement. “This is not only essential to closing the wealth gap, but it also fosters a more unified, empowered, and liberated society.”
According to information provided to AfroTech, its partner, Lockstep raised $25 million to fund their personal business as well. The first investment from KAI 11 Consulting will go toward Fleeting, a Black-owned commercial trucking company that prioritizes hiring women and formerly incarcerated individuals.
Fleeting will use its new funding to source additional resources in an effort to increase their social impact.
Similar to KAI 11 Consulting’s mission, partner Lockstep Ventures launched this year with an objective to “work, inspire, and empower systematic change by targeting companies that address racial disparities in health, wealth, education, and justice/anti-recidivism,” a press release reports.
“At Lockstep, we are committed and passionate about finding solutions to reimagine equity for Black and women-led companies,” Marcus Glover — Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Lockstep Ventures — said in a statement. “This collaboration with Kyrie Irving and the KAI 11 team allows us to not only help Fleeting further scale its business but also help countless others who are often overlooked and undervalued to achieve their goals of entrepreneurship and financial independence.”
Irving has been a huge supporter of social justice issues and has used his platform countless times to address injustices in America. Some of his recent efforts include donating $1.5 million to Women’s National Basketball Association players who opted out of their season last year amid COVID-19 and the nationwide protests.
He also covered the tuition for nine Historically Black College and University seniors earlier this year to free them of any financial burdens.
Editorial Note: This piece has been edited for clarity since initially published.