Synchrony Commits $15M to Venture Funds that Focus on WOC

Synchrony has announced its commitment of $15 million to venture capital funds prioritizing the support of women of color.

Synchrony has recognized the lack of representation of women of color in venture capital funding, and is taking matters into its own hands. (Image credit: PRNewsfoto/Synchrony)
Synchrony has recognized the lack of representation of women of color in venture capital funding, and is taking matters into its own hands. (Image credit: PRNewsfoto/Synchrony)

Synchrony, a premier consumer financial services company, today announced it will commit $15 million to venture capital funds led by Black, Latinx, and female investing partners. The first funds selected to receive money include Chingona VenturesSeae Ventures, and  Zeal Capital Partners – they support early stage startups across the fintech, healthcare, and future of work sectors. Additional funds may be included at a later date. The move builds on Synchrony’s commitment to support minority and women entrepreneurs and underrepresented communities, while also advancing Synchrony Ventures’ direct investment strategy to accelerate growth and innovation for Synchrony, its partners, and consumers.

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WOC Environmental Activists: Apply for Catalyst Award by June 17!

Rachel’s Network just announced the 2021 award cycle of its initiative honoring women of color fighting for the environment: The Rachel’s Network Catalyst Award recognizes women of color across the country who are leveraging their activism for environmental impact.

Rachel’s Network is now accepting applications for its Catalyst Award, supporting women of color environmental activists. (Image credit: Rachel’s Network)

With applications and nominations due by June 17th, now is the ideal time to make your voice heard in the world of eco-activism.

Winners of the Rachel’s Network Catalyst Award receive a $10,000 prize, networking opportunities with the full network, and public recognition within the environmental, philanthropic, and women’s leadership communities.

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Chera Reid: “My Being and Doing are One and the Same”

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Chera Reid, Co-Executive Director, Center for Evaluation Innovation.

chera reid
Chera Reid, Co-Executive Director of Evaluation Roundtable at the Center for Evaluation Innovation, shares her insights on how we can become a more diverse community. (Image credit: Chera Reid)

1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?

I wish I had known that it was me, in my whole human self, that was what every organization needed from me. It was and is me that organizations are asking for. When I was starting out professionally, I was ready with my resume and eager to please. I worked hard to do more of what I believed senior leaders wanted me to do, and I kept parts of who I am to myself. Showing up wholly—head, heart, and hands—is what social change leadership requires. Today my being and doing are one and the same.

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Grameen America to Loan $1.3 Billion with New Initiative for Black Women

Grameen America, a non-profit organization providing microloans and financial opportunities to low-income women entrepreneurs, recently announced its new Elevating Black Women Entrepreneurs initiative. By 2030, Grameen America plans to lend $1.3 billion to 80,000 Black women entrepreneurs with this new initiative.

Image credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com

Based on their track record of over $1.9 billion provided to over 136,000 low-income women already, they’ll reach this new goal and continue leading the way in shifting the racially charged financial situation in the US today. Basically, Grameen America’s Elevating Black Women Entrepreneurs initiative saw the estimated 1.4 million Black women entrepreneurs experiencing “systemic lack of access to affordable credit and capital” and are doing something about it.

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Due Diligence and Risk-Taking in Gender Lens Investing (Liveblog)

On Thursday, May 20th, the Philanthropy Women staff teamed up with Roslyn Dawson Thompson and Rehana Nathoo to discuss the importance of gender lens investing: what it is, how it works, and why we should focus our efforts on it.

gender lens investing

Guests Rehana Nathoo, Founder and CEO of Spectrum Impact, and Roslyn Dawson Thompson, President and CEO of Texas Women’s Foundation, discussed gender-lens investing with Philanthropy Women’s Editor-in-Chief, Kiersten Marek.

The conversation opened with a welcome to the day’s speakers and attendees, as well as a general thanks to Invest for Better for facilitating our conversation with Rehana and Roslyn. Citing the male-dominated nature of finance and corporate life, Kiersten shared her experiences in investing in a gender lens Exchange Traded Fund (EFT) called SHE.

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New P.E.A.R.L. Pledge Program to Empower Black Women

Pearl Milling Company has launched a multi-year program, P.E.A.R.L. Pledge, to empower black women and girls across the U.S.

P.E.A.R.L. Pledge will award $1M in grants to nonprofit organizations this year to kick-off the launch of the program. (Image credit: Pearl Milling Company)
P.E.A.R.L. Pledge will award $1M in grants to nonprofit organizations this year to kick-off the launch of the program. (Image credit: Pearl Milling Company)

Pearl Milling Company, maker of the 132-year-old pancake mix and syrup products previously found under the Aunt Jemima name, announced its community funding initiative as part of the brand’s commitment to support the Black community. P.E.A.R.L. Pledge is a multi-year program focused on championing the empowerment and success of Black women and girls across the country. In its inaugural year, the brand will award $1 million in grants to nonprofit organizations helping to fulfill this mission.

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How The American Jobs Act Strengthens Women in Society

The Biden Harris Administration recently released a statement analyzing how the American Jobs Plan will positively impact women’s employment. 

President Biden and Vice President Harris (Image Credit: uisjournal.com)

Beginning with an acknowledgement of how the last year saw 3.7 million less women working, the Biden Harris administration recently released a statement discussing their efforts to fight against this trend. Since the onset of COVID, many women have taken on more difficult job conditions, while also being responsible for caregiving responsibilities. Discrimination and hardships plague women, especially women of color, as they try to participate in the workforce. Covid-19 has made this situation even worse, and solving this is key to economic recovery. 

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U.S. Bank Access Fund to Focus $25M on Women of Color in Business

The $25M U.S. Bank Access Fund will be deployed as long term investments to 3 partner organizations supporting women of color in business.

The U.S. Bank Access Fund will be solely focused on helping women of color in business. (Image credit: U.S. Bank)
The U.S. Bank Access Fund will be solely focused on helping women of color in business. (Image credit: U.S. Bank)

U.S. Bank introduced the details of the $25 million U.S. Bank Access Fund – a fund for women of color microbusiness owners, which was first announced in February. The fund, a collaboration between U.S. Bank Foundation and U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), will include long-term investments of grants and capital funding to three partners: the African American Alliance of Black CDFI CEOs (the Alliance), Grameen America and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). The fund is part of U.S. Bank Access Commitment, the company’s long-term approach to help build wealth while redefining how the bank serves diverse communities and provides more opportunities for diverse employees.

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Jamie Sears of UBS: The Value of More Victories for Women in Biz

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Jamie Sears, Head of Community Affairs and Corporate Responsibility for the Americas with the global financial firm UBS, who also leads the UBS Foundation USA.

jamie sears
Jamie Sears of UBS discusses ways we can do more to support women entrepreneurs. (image courtesy of Jamie Sears)

1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?

Get practice using your voice, and don’t be afraid to use it. That was important when I started out and is still important now. I grew up as an adopted Asian American in a small town that was predominantly white and, from my earliest days, I did not feel comfortable speaking up.  Even as I moved through life and a career at some incredible organizations, I largely put my head down, did the work and thought it would speak for me. That is not how the world works if you want to have a big impact. I wish I had known the power of believing that my voice was worth something, and that the most powerful thing I could do is use it to advocate for myself and for others. Ultimately, it’s about having the confidence to know that you are contributing to the world. 

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New Scholarship Project to Honor RBG with Support for Women in Law

The When There Are Nine Scholarship Project has been created to support and mentor women law students, in honor of Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

The When There Are Nine Scholarship Project will help get women into law school and with the financial difficulties of entering the field. (Image credit: When There Are Nine Scholarship Project)
The When There Are Nine Scholarship Project will help get women into law school and with the financial difficulties of entering the field. (Image credit: When There Are Nine Scholarship Project)

A group of women lawyers who served as Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York are launching a scholarship project to provide financial assistance and mentoring support to women law students.

The When There Are Nine Scholarship Project was created in partnership with the Federal Bar Foundation, a New York-based tax-exempt organization, and was founded by a group of alumnae from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, following the passing of United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Project’s mission is to honor the lifelong work of Justice Ginsburg by creating a scholarship, related programming, and mentorship that will advance equity and diversity within the legal profession and continue the late Justice’s many efforts to expand career opportunities for women attorneys.

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