Do You Want To Accelerate Social Innovation? Invest In Black Women.

Forbes | by Jerelyn Rodriguez

 

Is America just waking up to the fact that #BlackGirlMagic is real?

A few weeks ago the world was raving about the 98% of black female voters that prevented Roy Moore, accused of sexually assaulting teens, from taking the Senate seat in Alabama. The next day titles like “black women saved America” took over the internet. But let’s not forget that black women have been trying to save the world for generations and in some cases only lack the resources to realize true impact.

A report issued last year from DigitalUndivided found that even though women accounted for 30% of all small business owners, they received 4.4% of small business loans. In a recent EdSurge article, Aaron Walker from Camelback Ventures highlights that of venture capital funding, “on average, black women raise $36,000, while White men raise $1.3 million.” The disparities in venture and nonprofit funding are slowing down authentic social innovation efforts tackling society’s biggest problems.

One example is social innovation taking place in the South Bronx, the poorest congressional district, where nearly 30% of young South Bronx residents are unemployed. To solve this, in 2016, with the support of JobsFirstNYC’s Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project (YASEP), The Knowledge House designed the Bronx Digital Pipeline (BxDP). BxDP is a strategic partnership among ten technology education organizations and higher education institutions offering technology skills training to young people from Bronx. The objective is to connect disadvantaged young people to occupational training customized to employer needs that lead to industry-recognized credentials, entry-level tech jobs, and higher wages.

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