Pharrell Williams has launched a non-profit initiative in a bid to address systematic inequality faced by Black and Latinx people.
Black Ambition aims to provide a bridge to success for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs who are launching tech, design, healthcare, and consumer products/services start-ups.
As part of the launch, Williams announced two prize competitions - The Black Ambition HBCU Prize and The Black Ambition Prize - which culminate in one major national event.
"Recent events and tragedies have illustrated the always existent stark divisions in the American experience, and while entrepreneurship has long been a tenet of the American dream, marginalized people have faced long-standing barriers to success," said the Happy hitmaker in a statement obtained by Business Wire. "With Black Ambition, the goal is to help strengthen the pipeline of talented entrepreneurs and close the opportunity and wealth gaps derived from limited access to capital and resources."
The Black Ambition HBCU Prize, in partnership with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), will offer prizes and mentorship for current and former students at HBCUs as they develop seed or early stage ideas and launch companies in the aforementioned categories.
The grand prize winner will receive up to a $250,000 (£187,938) prize and at least nine additional teams will receive smaller prizes.