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How ColorStack Is Working To Increase The Number Of Minority Computer Science Students

Increasing computer science enrollment for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) students has to start with building community, and nonprofit ColorStack recognizes that. The National Center for Education Statistics reported that of the 79,598 computer science degrees awarded in 2018, only 8.9 percent of them went to Black students, and more than 50 percent went to white students. The lack of diversity bleeds into the tech workforce as well. Less than 10 percent of Google’s national workforce identifies as Black or Latinx, while nearly half of Apple’s global team is white professionals. These statistics are stark. That’s why Jehron Petty launched ColorStack, a nonprofit that runs community building, academic support, and career development programs for Black and Latinx college computer science students across the U.S. ColorStack runs a three-week virtual career-building boot camp, hosts a 12-week computer science program, puts on a three-day computer science summit, and manages...

Michelai Graham

Sep 16, 2021

SoLo Funds and Kiva Partner to Build Up Capital For Financially-Excluded Americans

From entrepreneurs and small minority-owned businesses to Black and brown communities, low-income and financially-excluded individuals in America deal with many social and economic disadvantages that make it difficult to seek out loans. According to Forbes , minority-owned firms are much less likely to be approved for small business loans than white-owned firms, which speaks volumes considering minority-owned establishments lead a significant portion of the nation’s businesses. A 2017 report from the FDIC stated that 6.5 percent of U.S. households were unbanked and 18.7 percent were underbanked. Of those unbanked households, more than half cited not having enough money to keep in an account. In an effort to solve these issues, Kiva and SoLo Funds have partnered together to offer these populations of people affordable loan products for personal and business lending. Both companies have supported thousands of Americans through their communities of lenders, according to Kiva’s blog ,...

Njera Perkins

Jun 17, 2020

Softbank Creates $100M Fund for Businesses Led By POC

Black-owned and minority-owned businesses are finally getting the funding they need. This past Wednesday, Softbank announced that it is launching a $100 million investment fund solely for entrepreneurs of color and startups led by minorities, Forbes reports . According to reports from CNBC , Softbank created this fund — in under 24 hours — as a response to widespread protests across the country sparked by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others. CNBC also reported this is one of the largest funds created in light of the recent social unrest. This initiative is also motivated by the minority-owned businesses that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. “The Opportunity Growth Fund will be the biggest fund providing capital to black Americans and people of color,” said COO Marcelo Claure in a written letter to employees. “We have to put money behind it, set plans, and hold ourselves accountable.” Funding for minority-owned businesses has...

Njera Perkins

Jun 5, 2020

Starting a Business? Here's a City You Should Consider

For decades, Silicon Valley has held a monopoly on the tech startup industry. Some of the most successful companies of recent decades have come out of the Valley, and more startups spring from the area than anywhere else in the world. However, launching a startup in the Valley has always had severe limitations, especially for Black and brown founders. The most obvious limitation is the prohibitive cost of living in Silicon Valley. With an average house price near $1 million and the average rent inching closer and closer to $3000 , merely surviving has been a significant stress factor for most young entrepreneurs in the city. Silicon Valley’s enduring legacy of racial and gender discrimination has made everyday life particularly uncomfortable for many non-male, non-white startup founders. Over the past few years, the tech industry in cities like Seattle, Austin, and, more recently, Atlanta, have exploded. Yet, the industry seems to have overlooked one city with enormous potential:...

Colleen Williams

Dec 31, 2019

Where You Can Find the Greatest Number of Minority Startups and Why

A recent report by Volusion reveals the 15 U.S. cities that house the largest number of minority-owned startups . California appears most often on the list, representing five cities. San Jose, Riverside, and Los Angeles occupy the top spots on the list, followed by San Francisco in fifth place and the state capital, Sacramento, in last place. Other cities in the top 10 include Miami, Florida and San Antonio, Texas. The absence of some major cities on the list points to a larger issue. Minority representation in the startup arena pales in comparison to the overall U.S. minority population. While minorities are on pace to constitute more than one half of the U.S. population in the next 25 years, minority-owned startups make up just over 25 percent of new businesses. In addition, the presence of minority-owned startups in many of the listed cities is disproportionate to the city’s overall minority population. Volusion reports that “ Out of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.,...

Emily Adeyanju

Dec 13, 2019