February 2023

BizFirst: JPMorgan Chase investing $3 million in Columbus Urban League’s Accelerate Her initiative

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JPMorgan Chase is investing $3 million to help launch the Columbus Urban League’s Accelerate Her initiative, a program that aims to support women of color in the Central Ohio business community.

“The Accelerate Her initiative and the multi-year, multimillion-dollar investment by our partners at JPMorgan Chase will have a rippling and residual impact on the economic empowerment of Black women and a tremendous economic impact on the community as a whole,” Columbus Urban League CEO Stephanie Hightower said in a news release.

The Accelerate Her initiative will fund several aspects of business development including education, support, capital access and contracting opportunities. The nonprofit plans to select 100 female entrepreneurs and business owners of color to benefit from the program; it will identify participants via an application process and by working with partner organizations.

JPMorgan Chase chose the nonprofit’s initiative for the investment through an annual competition known as the Annual Challenge. The competition was designed to fund ideas to advance equity.

JPMorgan changed the challenge in 2021 to respond to the pandemic’s impact on women of color specifically.

“The expertise, perspectives and lived experiences of women of color uniquely position them to drive solutions that expand economic opportunity in their communities,” Corinne Burger, Columbus location leader at JPMorgan Chase, said in the release. “We at JPMorgan Chase are thrilled to partner with the Columbus Urban League in their ongoing work to lift up Black female entrepreneurs and their businesses here in Columbus.”

Since 2018, JPMorgan Chase has awarded more than $80 million to organizations in cities across the country.

“The partners involved in this work share in the vision for achieving greater economic prosperity in our region and know we all must work to address challenges through innovative and impactful programming,” Columbus Partnership CEO Kenny McDonald said in the release.

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