Accenture Introduces Black Founders Development Program
Accenture has created the Black Founders Development Program to aid Black entrepreneurs, especially Black tech startups. According to a statement released by Accenture, the program is designed to “advance and grow technology businesses through greater, more direct access to venture capital, corporate mentorship, and strategic connections with Accenture’s business partners, clients, and people.” They are aiming to increase Black access to wealth and fuel the next great innovators.
“Black entrepreneurs continue to innovate but face bias and lack access to capital and opportunity in the venture capital community, receiving a disproportionately small amount of funding. Big change is clearly needed, and Accenture Ventures will help lead that change,” said Paul Daugherty, Group Chief Executive – Technology and Chief Technology Officer at Accenture.
Accenture is ready to initiate change immediately. Kathryn Ross, Global Open Innovation – Lead and the Black Founders Development Program – Lead for Accenture Ventures, said,
“Leadership, resources, technology and investment expertise are all areas where Accenture can deliver significant support to Black entrepreneurs, helping them to accelerate innovation and further grow their businesses.”
A 2018 study released by the US Small Business Administration on financing patterns by race concluded Blacks were twice as likely to fund their business with under $10,000 in financial capital compared to Whites. Blacks were also at least twice as likely to not receive the full capital they requested in comparison to Whites. Only 10 percent of Whites suggested that the lack of access to credit had a negative impact on profitability, compared with 28.4 percent of Black-owned businesses.
The Black Founders Development Program launch comes following Accenture’s announcement earlier this month to increase the representation of African American and Black people in the organization from 9 percent to 12 percent; and increase the number of African American and Black managing directors from 2.8 percent to 4.4 percent by 2025.