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Kumba Kpakima

Tech giant, Microsoft, is venturing into the clothing industry in their latest collaboration with Black designer Gavin Mathieu. The “Hardwear” collection encapsulates a “normcore” aesthetic, which primarily focuses on inner, not outer, value. As a result, the capsule features a range of minimalistic graphic tees and MS jackets, pants, pullovers, and hats. The collection was shot in front of the company’s iconic grassy hill desktop background and embodied the nostalgic start-up sound and wallpaper many users grew to love in the platform’s early days. The clothing brand, launched in partnership

The largest global development institution has committed $2 billion to help support small Kenyan businesses and women-owned organizations through partnerships with banks in the country. International Finance Corporation (IFC) was established to end extreme poverty by encouraging the growth of the private sector in developing countries. Since 1956, the company has invested more than $321 billion into emerging markets and developing economies. According to the outlet, their work which supports the World Bank Group’s goal of ending extreme poverty, has helped to create new jobs and raise the living standard

Black-owned digital platform, InterApp, has raised $1.2 million in its pre-seed funding round. The funding round was led by Columbia-based investment firm WP Capital Group, an organization that focuses on emerging technologies for consumer engagement.  InterApp Inc., co-founded in 2016 by CEO William Brown, is an image recognition app that aims to make augmented reality (AR) a necessary tool for consumers. Their work, specifically designed for graphic designers, transforms print into interactive AR experiences for consumers to enjoy. The platform transforms print packages and apparel graphics into augmented reality, ultimately transforming

Black-owned tech startup, Readyhubb, has launched a new website booking service to empower appointment-based professionals across the U.S. Readyhubb, founded in 2022 by Chidi Ashley, is a booking platform that caters to many industries. The app streamlines all aspects of the booking process by designing a system that minimizes the number of daily tools professionals need to manage. Businesses that have a presence on social media and may not have a proper booking and client management system will benefit hugely from this platform. Not only does it provide an easily

Tech giant, Meta, has seen an unexpected increase in diverse hires since expanding its remote working options.  Facebook, also known as Meta, is one of many companies that have introduced new remote working options for its employees following the pandemic. As a result, between 2021 and 2022, the tech company reported a slight increase in the share of Black, Hispanic, and Asian employees joining its US workforce, while the proportion of white workers dropped by 1.5%.  According to Facebook’s Chief Diversity Officer, Maxine Williams, employees from underrepresented backgrounds and people

As the financial downturn continues to daunt the world and we slowly move towards another recession, venture capital funding has dropped significantly, ultimately affecting the progression of early startup businesses. Entrepreneur McKeever “Mac” Conwell shares his tips on how startup businesses can survive, grow, and expand during these turbulent times. Black-owned VC firm, RareBreed, founded in 2021 by McKeever “Mac” Conwell, is a pre-seed fund that invests in early pre-seed tech companies. It also allows angel investors to become limited partners for more significant funds. So not only does it

Non-profit tech platform, CodeHouse, has received a $1 million grant from Google.org to commence its second year of the CodeHouse Scholars Initiative (CHSI).  The program provides opportunities for Black and Latinx students aspiring to enter the STEM industry. It is committed to building a diverse tech workforce in the US and offers four years of mentorship to underrepresented students attending HBCUs to help them kickstart a career in STEM. CodeHouse, co-founded in 2019 by Morehouse alumni Ernest Holmes, Jaycee Holmes, and Tavis Thompson, focuses on tackling the diversity gap in the tech industry. Their initiative program provides mentorship

Africa-focused investment firm, Persistent Energy, has raised $10 million in its Series C funding to help support the renewable energy sector in Africa. The funding round, led by Kyuden International Corporation and FSD Africa Investments, also saw private investors Kotaro Tamura, BK Ventures BV, and DPI Energy Ventures participate.  Persistent Energy, founded over a decade ago, is a pioneer investor in Africa’s renewable sector. The investment firm works to support and build businesses that can “scale sustainably.” They provide financial capital for startups and allow their team members to work

Black-owned cardiovascular telehealth provider, Moving Analytics, has raised $20 million in Series A funding. The funding round, which Wellington Access Ventures and Seae Ventures led, also included investors Philip Ventures, Aphelion Capital, Nueterra Capital, SteelSky Ventures, and Citi Ventures. Moving Analytics, co-founded in 2013 by Ade Adesanya, Harsh Vathsangam, and Shuo Qiao, has partnered with cardiology offices and cardiac rehab facilities to expand access to secondary prevention for all patients. The platform specializes in cardiovascular prevention and uses a virtual cardiac rehab program, Movn, to support patients who have recently

Black-owned investment firm Fearless Fund partnered with Louisiana-based foundation ProSeed to renovate and rebuild schools in Ivory Coast, West Africa. The partnership aims to transform the educational system in West Africa, giving students the tools needed to succeed in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Fearless Fund, co-founded in 2018 by serial entrepreneur and angel investor Arian Simone, and American actress Keshia Knight Pulliam, works to invest in women of color-led businesses seeking pre-seed and seed level investment funding. The VC firm, built by women of color for women of

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