The rise of African Americans in the tech space has been quite progressive, though innovative, and laudable, it has not come without enormous challenges. No doubt, there has been a constant and growing underrepresentation situation of Black professionals in tech, according to Harvard Business Review, this has been an ongoing issue since the 70s when the Bay Area became what is today known as Silicon Valley, which is known to be the technological center of technological innovation. The Silicon Valley is located in the South San Francisco Bay Area of California.
In this article, we would be looking at different grants that are tailored for Black professionals who are in tech, starting a technology-based business, and need grants to help them succeed. The technology development gap between African Americans is ever-growing, and creating access to grant funding for Blacks in tech is one way to help create accessibility and growth within the current, ever-changing tech space.
Access to capital has always been one of the biggest challenges that Black startups and founders face when it comes to growth and advancement in the tech space. In 2018 alone, sources featured on Washington Post reveal that only 1% of venture capital dollars went to Black start-up founders in the tech space. Furthermore, Business Insider reveals recent findings that show that Black employees made up only about 2.8% of Google’s technical roles and 4.8% of their entire workforce. Twitter, on the other hand, reported that 6% of their staff were Black. Facebook had only about 3.8% Black employees.
During the events that occurred in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, several companies and corporate bodies pledged to do something about their lack of Black representation in their companies and even went as far as instituting policies to help make a change. However, not much has changed since then and now, as there have been increased failures on the side of these companies to build a more inclusive and supportive work environment for people of color.
Corporate America even collectively promised a $50B promise to take an active role in confronting systemic racism and racial injustice in the work environment and the makeup of the socio-economic system in the country. Companies like Apple and AbbVie, Twitter, Facebook and Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble, and other leading corporations made broad commitment concerning what they would do to make a difference and pledging their financial resources to the effect of equality and better treatment of people of color and to stand up against violence against Black Americans.
In spite of all the promises made, not much has changed more than a year later. The access to funding is still dwindling, venture capitalists are not for the coming, and Black professionals still struggle each day to get to the table. Hence our commitment to creating access to grant information that can help African Americans wherever they are located access no grants to help them start a tech-based business or grow one if they are already in that space.
The Ultimate List of Grants for Black Americans in Tech
AfricanAmericanGrants.org is committed to changing the narrative of the lack of funding for African Americans in the tech space. We have compiled a list of grants to help Black business owners in the tech space access grants to help run their businesses. The process of applying for these grants requires that you provide some background information about your tech business and how you hope to impact your immediate community if you received the grant awards.
Accessing grants for minorities may come with its unique challenges, but knowing how to navigate the grant process can be quite helpful in getting the desired results. The first thing you want to do is make sure you meet the grant eligibility criteria that the grant issuing agencies have set out for the grants you wish to apply for. When you have successfully fulfilled the requirements, then you can proceed to apply for the grants that you qualify for.
1. Twilio.org Impact Fund
The first on our list is the Twilio.org Impact Fund. Twilio is a cloud communication company that is committed to making a change when it comes to providing access to funding for startups and new tech businesses and nonprofit organizations. Twilio works with individuals and nonprofits to help with a mission to provide access to services, engage with communities, or use technology to address urgent communications needs. The process involves providing detailed information as regards what your plans for the funding would be. Eligible applicants are able to access up to $150,000 in grant funding. These Funds can be utilized in ways that will benefit your business and organization.
2. $75,000 American Honda Foundation Grant
The American Honda Foundation grant creates funding opportunities for grant awards up to $75,00. This grant program is to encourage the use of technology to provide education and support for the community and youth advancement. Advancing STEM education is one of the specific areas it looks for in an organization. This grant program is offered on a first come first serve basis. it is important to apply as soon as possible so as to get access to the grants that you need. This grant offer covers recurring support for your application and its accessibility guarantee.