Google announces $175 million ‘economic opportunity package’ for Black community, entrepreneurs
Google CEO Sundar Pichai also announced the company will improve Black+ representation in the leadership roles.
Google on Wednesday announced it will spend over $175 million to support Black business owners, startup owners and developers among others. The “economic opportunity package” is in addition to YouTube's fund worth $100 million to support Black content creators.
Announced by Google CEO Sundar Pichai, the $175 million fund will be distributed in four parts. About $50 million will be spent in the form of finance and grants to small businesses that focus on the Black community.
Google has allocated $100 million in capital firms, start-ups and organisations that support Black entrepreneurs. Another $15 million has been earmarked for an upskilling programme for the community. The company has set aside $10 million for facilitating the Black community's access to education and economic opportunities among others.
“Over the past several weeks, violent and racist attacks against the Black community have forced the world to reckon with the structural and systemic racism that Black people have experienced over generations. My own search for answers started within our own walls,” wrote Pichai in a post.
“Listening to the personal accounts of members of our Black Leadership Advisory Group and our Black+ Googlers has only reinforced for me the reality our Black communities face: one where systemic racism permeates every aspect of life, from interactions with law enforcement, to access to housing and capital, to health care, education, and the workplace,” he added.
Apart from the economic opportunity fund, Pichai also spelt out the initiatives the company is taking to help end racial discrimination.
Pichai said the company aims to increase Black+ representation at higher levels. Google will have a representation of underrepresented groups by 30% in the next five years, he added.
This follows more efforts to improve representation which includes recruitment, retention, and promotion at all levels within the company. Google is also setting up an anti-racism programme which will be available globally. Another effort is to help Black+ community on issues pertaining to mental and physical health.
Google's new economic fund comes amid ongoing protests in the US over the death of George Floyd. The technology companies such as Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and others have quite vocal in extending their support to the campaign against racial discrimination.