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Gather Against the Gap: Northwestern Mutual and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management Bring Together Changemakers to Drive Racial Equity

The racial wealth gap for Black Americans remains significant, directly impacting social and economic growth. For some, this wealth gap is one of the biggest hindrances to upward mobility and a key producer of financial anxiety. Organizations are working to reduce the racial wealth gap and provide a space for everyone to reach their financial goals. Northwestern Mutual , a leading financial services firm, is one of the companies committed to equity-focused work by supporting the growth and diversity of businesses, as it delivers a multiplier effect on job creation and community vitality. On October 26, Northwestern Mutual hosted Gather Against the Gap in partnership with Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and brought together hundreds of leaders, academics and experts in the field to have a conversation on how to best standup initiatives and funding to reduce the racial wealth gap and sustain action for racial equity. The event was supported by the Boston...

Nov 8, 2023

Closing the Wealth Gap: How Northwestern Mutual’s Accelerator Program Is Empowering Black Entrepreneurs

Access to resources is one of the most significant barriers to entry for Black entrepreneurs. Whether it is a lack of funding or a gap in training, Black business owners have often found it challenging to tap into the same level of success–at the same rate– as some of their racial counterparts. Northwestern Mutual , a leading financial services company which has been helping people and businesses achieve financial security for more than 160 years, acknowledges this systemic challenge and is committed to investment opportunities that will help reduce the racial wealth gap. One program the company has stood up, its Black Founder Accelerator program, furthers its commitment to championing diversity, equity and inclusion. Based on recent research, Black founders receive less than two percent of venture capital funds. Northwestern Mutual is stepping in and offering each eligible entrepreneur a $100,000 investment and inclusion in a 12-week intensive program. As part of the accelerator,...

Oct 20, 2023

AFROTECH Executive: Northwestern Mutual’s Abim Kolawole Shares How Corporations Can Help Close The Wealth Gap

AFROTECH Executive is set to close out in Brooklyn, NY. On Sept. 22, the last stop of the multi-city series will focus on wealth, finance, and innovation, including a fireside chat with Northwestern Mutual’s Abim Kolawole on corporate responsibility in closing the wealth gap. Snag your tickets for AFROTECH Executive here. View this post on Instagram A post shared by AFROTECH (

Sep 20, 2023

VC Dana Guthrie Raised $13.5M Less Than A Year After She First Began Raising Capital

This fund manager is on a mission to get Black founders the capital they deserve! And in less than a year after she started, she’s succeeded in that mission by raising $13.5 million for her Milwaukee-based venture fund. When venture capitalist (VC) Dana Guthrie first sought out a career in the technology industry, she had no idea that it would lead her to help others in a massive way. As a basketball recruit in 2006, she enrolled in Milwaukee’s School of Engineering and from there jumped headfirst into the technology field majoring in computer engineering. Today, she’s using her platform to help connect Black founders with the financial resources that they need to not only survive but thrive. According to Yahoo! Finance, Guthrie created Alchemy Angel Investors after she crossed paths with like-minded individuals while working at Johnson Controls, a building equipment company. It was there that she also met Black professionals with a background in finance, but no real knowledge of...

Aug 18, 2021

Black-Founded Startup Zirtue Has Now Raised $4M In Seed Capital Thanks To An Investment From Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual’s latest investment is one that we could all possibly benefit from. Zirtue — the world’s first and only relationship-based lending app — has received a huge investment from Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures. Northwestern Mutual’s corporate venture capital fund investment combined with Zirtue’s seed round brings the fintech startup company’s total amount raised to $4 million. Other investment funds include Google for Startups Black Founders Fund, the Jaylon Smith Minority Entrepreneurship Institute Capital Fund, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, plus more. The funds will be used to not only grow the team but also add product offerings. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Zirtue In an effort to further its commitment to accelerating financial technology startups, Northwestern Mutual is committed to working with startups like Zirtue, which are focused on historically underbanked and underfunded populations. They are also committed to investing in Black founded...

Apr 27, 2021

Anthony Anderson and His Mother Team Up With Northwestern Mutual to Educate the Black Community on Financial Literacy

This mother-son duo is on a mission to reshape the conversations around financial literacy. Anthony Anderson and his mother, Miss Doris, have teamed up with Northwestern Mutual to provide financial planning resources directly to Black Americans. “Honestly the common mistake that we make is not having a plan, that’s why I partnered with Northwestern Mutual to talk about this,” said Anderson in an interview with AfroTech. “To talk about financial literacy, to talk about having a financial plan because that’s the mistake that people make period — not planning for the future.” Despite the rise of Black business ownership, Northwestern Mutual reports that 1/3 of Black Americans have not considered working with a financial advisor.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Anthony Anderson (@anthonyanderson) “Financial planning was not on my radar for many years and I know that this is the reality for so many people,” shared Miss Doris. “From a young age, I taught Anthony about the...

Mar 18, 2021

Northwestern Mutual Commits $20M to Support Black Founders Through VC Fund

Financial services company Northwestern Mutual announced a commitment to combat racism and inequality back in July . Now it’s following through on some of its promises to ensure a better future filled with sustainable change. As part of its long-term commitment to diversity and inclusion, the company has announced new initiatives aimed at supporting Black startup founders across the nation. We are announcing a new accelerator program and $20 million to support Black entrepreneurs. EVP & Chief Product and Innovation Officer, John Grogan, shares our commitment to racial equity in venture capital: — Northwestern Mutual (@NM_Financial) November 18, 2020 According to a press release, the company’s venture capital fund, Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, has dedicated a total of $20 million toward investing in startups founded by Black entrepreneurs. “At Northwestern Mutual we’re dedicated to supporting and promoting diversity not just within our company, but...

Nov 25, 2020