Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has been a consistent focus and critical success factor throughout Flywire’s evolution from early-stage startup to the international business it is today. With employees located all over the world and a workplace made of multiple cultures, religions, genders, identities and more, Flywire strives to do our part to make the world more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
Through this lens, we’ve launched specific initiatives, such as the Flywire Charitable Foundation, to help close the access and affordability gap that exists in underrepresented communities.
Still, significant gaps in access and opportunity exist, especially for black founders and entrepreneurs. In honor of Black History Month, we wanted to highlight a few great programs and resources designed specifically to support black entrepreneurs and black business leaders overcome some of the obstacles in their way and realize their full potential.
The roundup below is a snapshot of some initiatives that are driving lasting change for the black business community and an opportunity to realize their full potential.
Launch with Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs believes that diversity is good for business and drives strong returns. They have supporting data that backs that thesis up too. Launch With GS is their $500 million investment initiative designed to increase access to capital and facilitate connections for women, Black, Latinx and other diverse underrepresented entrepreneurs and investors. This podcast interview with Jemma Wolfe, head of the Launch with GS program, offers some good insights on the initiative and its progress to date.
Google – Black Founders Fund
The $5M Google for Startups Black Founders Fund provides cash awards to Black-led startups that have participated in Google Startup programs or have been nominated by Google’s partner community. Selected founders receive between $50,000 and $100,000 in capital funding that is critical to their success, along with hands-on support to assist in growth of the startup.
Goodie Nation is one of many companies partnering with Google in this program and providing additional wrap-around support in the form of guidance, network connections, high-value content, and marketing opportunities to advance the ventures of social entrepreneurs in the Black-led tech startup community.
Entirely separate from the Google program, Black Founders was started in 2011 to empower entrepreneurs and by providing founders with access to advice, mentorship, and funding. The organization is focused on creating an ecosystem that stimulates Black tech entrepreneurship and fosters economic growth in the community through the development of global programs that equip entrepreneurs, inspire innovation, and share resources and knowledge.
Black Economic Council Massachusetts (BECMA)
As a Boston-based company, this organization has a local connection for Flywire. BECMA is advancing the economic well-being of Black businesses, organizations that serve the Black community and Black residents of Massachusetts. The idea behind BECMA is to leverage the broader community at all levels (individuals, students, small and large businesses/organizations and corporate partners) to galvanize, organize, educate, agitate and communicate as needed to ensure the collective success.
Foundation for Business Equity
This is another local organization focused on helping Black and Latinx entrepreneurs in Greater Boston reach their full growth potential. Foundation for Business Equity partners with local businesses, the private sector, foundations, banks, civic organizations, and business leaders to identify, invest in, and foster an environment of support, inclusion and expansion for Black and Latinx businesses. Its signature program is The Business Equity Initiative which provides collaborative owner support through unique individual business plans, high touch strategic advisory to drive revenue growth.
There are more great organizations and initiatives out there supporting black entrepreneurship—many with a local scope and mission. I encourage readers to research what’s available to them. In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more about black entrepreneurship, here are a few additional resources: