Credit Suisse recently announced the launch of its Entrepreneurs Circle, a program designed to provide African-American entrepreneurs with access to capital, curriculum and community.
The program stems from the global financial services company’s Private Banking and Wealth Management New Market initiatives, which aim to advance financial opportunity among women, African-Americans and the LGBT community, according to a press release.
"Data clearly shows that African-American business owners are underrepresented among all business owners and are generally underserved by large, global financial institutions – our goal in launching the Entrepreneurs Circle is to begin to change that,” said Pamela Thomas-Graham, Credit Suisse's Chief Marketing and Talent Officer.
The 12 entrepreneurs chosen to launch the program come from a diverse range of backgrounds, including entertainment and music, like Troy Carter and John Legend, and Silicon Valley, like Pathbrite CEO Heather Hiles.
“We’re further behind the starting line than majority folks,” Hiles told TechCrunch about Black entrepreneurs. “Over 90 percent of venture capitalists are white men. So we don’t necessarily live next door to our investors. We don’t have a network as broad or as deep of African-American entrepreneurs who have been there and can see around the corner. It’s sad, but it’s just true.”
Benefits to being selected for the Entrepreneurs Circle includes access to non-recourse set financing at competitive rates and access to Credit Suisse’s network of investment bankers, wealth advisers and managers and industry experts.
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(Photo: Credit Suisse)