Months of protests against police brutality and systemic racism shook the world. As a result, the American company was forced to respond to the history of racial inequalities in the nation with statements, investments, and diversity initiatives. To further narrow these differences – particularly the widening racial divide – many in corporate leadership positions have placed particular emphasis on promoting black-owned businesses.
But can this renewed engagement by American companies really improve the playing field for black companies?
At the virtual Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit, a panel of experts will answer these and other questions during the J.P. Morgan Wealth Management sponsored Investing In Racial Equity session. Attendees include Ted Archer, Executive Director, Global Philanthropy, J. P. Morgan Chase & Co .; Jehan Crump-Gibson, Managing Partner, Great Lakes Legal Group PLLC; and Derek T. Dingle, Senior Vice President and Chief Content Officer, Black Enterprise.
In developing solutions to address structural racial inequalities, Archer says many companies have begun to take a long-term perspective.
"As we are now, long-term investment will get us to the point where we have real equity," he said. "Businesses thrive, our business world thrives, when we all have access to the systems we can use to contribute."
In particular for J.P. Morgan points out to Archer the bank's recent five-year commitment of $ 30 billion to create opportunities for black and other minority companies. The commitment calls for 15,000 loans of up to $ 2 billion to be granted to small businesses in color communities. additional procurement expenses of $ 750 million with Black and Latinx providers; and a new entrepreneur support program.
He also referred to the entrepreneurial component of JPMC's two-year-old Advancing Black Pathways initiative. The Advancing Black Entrepreneurs Coalition, which includes members such as the National Urban League, US Black Chambers, National Minority Supplier Development Council, and Black Enterprise, advises JPMC officials on outreach efforts and programs such as the series of webinars that black companies have to offer intended to help get involved the current business environment as well as the willingness to borrow.
Crump-Gibson, whose Detroit-based company represents a number of startups, says the corporate commitments are admirable and certainly necessary, but "it will take time." She claims that at a time when many financially distressed entrepreneurs continue to lack access to capital and credit, which is vital now that the pandemic has hit their businesses.
JPMC's push could prove to be a real game changer, as African Americans make up nearly 13% of the US population, but only 4% of the country's small business owners.
Crump-Gibson claims that partnering with black-owned companies will also be an important component in giving these entrepreneurs access to the resources they need. “So we know these programs are on their way. But I think we have to do a lot more with lawmakers and more institutions like J.P. Morgan Chase, ”she said.
In addition to reviewing business programs, the session offers entrepreneurs advice on using their businesses as platforms for wealth creation, including:
- Effective ways to manage your business and personal finances
- Corporate succession and estate planning
- Building assets such as commercial real estate