Pharrell Williams and Chanel are collaborating once again, this time to launch a mentorship program for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs.
The “Happy” singer and his non-profit initiative, Black Ambition, teamed up with the brand to work toward closing the opportunity and wealth gap by investing capital and resources in start-ups founded by Black and Latinx HBCU students and entrepreneurs.
This summer, Black Ambition will sponsor two competitions where contenders will have the chance to take home the Black Ambition HBCU Prize or The Black Ambition Prize.
The Black Ambition HBCU Prize will give current and former HBCU students awards and mentorship opportunities to help develop their businesses, and the Black Ambition Prize will focus on helping upcoming tech, design and health care companies with customer-focused products and services. The Black Ambition Prize winner will receive up to $1 million in financial support.
The first part of the program begins on June 11 with an intimate expert-led, hour-long “Women Who Lead” conversation for Black Ambition semifinalists and network members about resilience, determination, self-confidence and building community.
“Mentorship is a cornerstone of Black Ambition’s mission and it’s vital to the success of the next generation of Black and Latinx entrepreneurs,” Williams says.
“To honor their commitment of investing in human potential and advancing greater representation and culture in society, Chanel has put together an amazing panel of women to talk about leadership through a woman’s lens,” he continues.
The discussion will be moderated by Samira Nasr, Editor in Chief of Harper’s Bazaar, and features Tracee Ellis Ross, Edith Cooper, Co-Founder of Medley, Emma Grede, CEO and Co-Founder of Good American, and Natalie Massenet, Co-Founder and Partner of Imaginary Ventures.
“If the table’s not making a space for you, build your own, but when you build your own, make sure that it’s a table that does have space for everybody,” Ross says in a highlight reel from the talk.
The second part of the program includes a comprehensive mentorship program consisting of interactive workshops with Chanel’s leadership community to discuss brand-building and business skills.
“The more we build what we want and what we are looking for, the more our world is a reflection of who we actually are,” the Black-ish actress says.
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