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The National Football League has announced its partnership with Ice Cube’s Contract With Black America Institute (CWBA) to support Black-owned businesses and increase diversity amongst NFL vendors. In addition, the partnership aims to boost the economic equity within Black communities by tackling the wealth gap and offering various opportunities in the financial, tech, and production sectors. The CWBA was launched in 2020 by rapper, actor, and filmmaker Ice Cube, alongside his business partner and entertainment lawyer, Jeff Kwatinetz, and works to address the systemic racism in the sports industry. In

Black-led communication startup, Simpu, has launched its first-ever omnichannel inbox, allowing businesses to interact with customers through various social channels. The omnichannel inbox will not only enable companies to communicate with their consumers in a range of mediums, but it also allows them to diverge away from the traditional customer support channels, which primarily focus on phone, email, or chat support.  Collins Iheagwara co-founded Simpu with Kolawole Balogun and Tioluwani Kolawole in 2020, which was designed to help business owners unify all their communication channels through an automated workflow. The

Black-owned beauty and tech company Mayvenn has announced that it raised $40 million in a Series C funding round. Leading investments came from Chicago-based venture fund Cleveland Avenue, with participation from the Growth Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management and a16z. Mayvenn allows consumers to search for and book hair stylists in their local area. In addition, stylists are able to operate their businesses on the platform, including selling products and marketing their salon-based services. The company says it is now home to over 50,000 hair stylists across the

London and Kenyan-based educational entertainment company, Kukua, has raised $6 million in its latest investment round. The funding round was co-led by world-leading technology company Tencent and Italy-based VC Alchimia and included participation from EchoVC, Firstminute Capital, and Auxxo Female Catalyst.  Kukua, co-founded by Alexandre Terrien and Lucrezia Bisignani in 2015, uses technology to create magical learning experiences for children centered around a universe of superhero characters. The company is best known for creating the first-ever African animated superhero series, ‘Super Sema,’ and aims to empower the children of the

Minority-owned early-stage cannabis fund, JourneyOne Ventures, has closed a $10 million fund to invest in businesses within the growing cannabis industry. The fund includes a range of investors like Paul Bown, founder of Bowen; Elizabeth Yin, general partner at Hustle Fund; Eric Manlunas, general partner at Wavemaker Partners and Fred Kang, a former partner at Andreessen Horowitz.  JourneyOne Ventures, founded in 2017 by Helene Servillon, is committed to building a community of genuinely talented entrepreneurs. The investment company, 100% women-led and minority-owned, invests in bold performers within the cannabis industry

Founder and CEO of mental health tech startup MindRight Health, Ashley Edwards, has raised $1.78 million in seed funding. The funding round led by investment platform Lifeforce Capital included existing investors Acumen America and Impact America Fund. New investors included Hopelab Ventures, Gaingels and Impact Assets, and Pivotal Ventures.  Edwards previously raised $1 million for MindRight Health in 2020. In doing so, became one of only 35 Black women in the US, and was reportedly the first Black woman in New Jersey, to achieve this level of VC funding. This

Ukonwa Kuzi-Orizu Ojo has stepped down as Chief Marketing Officer for Prime Video and Amazon Studios, the company announced earlier this week. During her time at the organization, Ojo was responsible for leading the global brand and power-headed original marketing for the streamer. In addition, she led marketing campaigns for popular movies like “Coming 2 America” and “The Boys.” Using machine learning and human intuition, Ojo also helped keep Amazon in the conversation as a competitive streaming platform, raising the bar for direct-to-streaming film releases and helping them reach a more

Businessman and investor Baron Davis has announced his partnership with Hennessy for their “Never Stop Never Settle Society” campaign. The serial entrepreneur and former NBA player is set to join the team as a board member and hopes to use his experiences to help champion Black entrepreneurs.  The initiative, launched by the famous liquor brand in 2021, works to accelerate the growth of Black business owners across the US. The $1 million campaign, which Hennessy developed in partnership with talent development platform Marcus Graham Project, provides 20 Black entrepreneurs with

Black-owned food waste startup, Goodr, has closed $8 million in their latest round of financing. The funding round, led by venture capital firm, Precursor Ventures, included investment firm Collab Capital, Emerson Collective, Backstage Capital, Innovations for Impact, Kimbal, Telus Pollinator Fund, and a series of other private angel investors. This round brings Goodr’s total funding to $9.4 million. The Atlanta-based startup, founded by Jasmine Crowe in 2017, works to feed people who may experience food insecurity. The community first focused on helping feed a small number of people experiencing homelessness

Dragon’s Den star Steven Bartlett is seeking “fledgling entrepreneurs” to take part in a secret BBC show. The Social Chain co-founder has called on business leaders in the e-commerce world to participate. Mr. Bartlett is working on the project with BBC Studios but has kept quiet on the finer details. In a message posted on LinkedIn, the entrepreneur said applications have to be free to be filmed on July 8, 2022, between 8 am and 5 pm in East London. He added anyone who is interested should e-mail businessg@bbc.co.uk. Mr. Bartlett

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