Big banks in America have never truly been our allies. But at the height of the pandemic, JP Morgan Chase reached out to Black leaders and asked what they could do.
JP Morgan Chase promised to commit $350 million to match contributions by others to help grow Black-owned businesses. The only problem was they didn’t know how to start. Naturally, they called the woman business wiz who is known for giving back to her community: Mellody Hobson.
As Co-CEO of Ariel Investments, the nation’s largest Black-owned investment firm, Hobson didn’t pull any punches. If they wanted to help, they needed to invest in businesses and people. And they needed to keep it Black.
The partnership, labeled “Project Black,” invests in mid-level companies and installs minority-led executives and boards. Ariel Alternatives is investing $1.6 billion into businesses with the potential for growth and marketability.
Black companies frequently fold because of a lack of investment. But one thing is true. It’s the people in our own community who lift us up.