Soft Bank floats $100m minorities startup fund to fight Racism

Soft Bank floats $100m minorities startup fund to fight Racism
  • Japan's SoftBank is the latest major company to respond to the protests over the death of George Floyd.
  • On Tuesday Bank of America pledged $1bn over the next four years to help address economic and racial inequality
  • Twitter's Jack Dorsey donated $3m  to former NFL player Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp

 

Racism is a lamentable thing, - Masayoshi Son

The technology giant has launched a $100m (£80m) fund that will invest in companies led by "people of colour".

This follows a string of companies including Twitter, Bank of America and General Motors condemning racial inequality.

black lives

George Floyd's death has sparked huge protests against racism and police brutality across the US and globally.

Announcing the "Opportunity Growth Fund" on Twitter, SoftBank's founder and chief executive Masayoshi Son wrote “Racism is a lamentable thing,” ending his post with "#BlackLivesMatter".

How will this fund impact the #BlackLivesMatter campaign

In a letter to employees the company's chief operating officer Marcelo Claure said the fund, which he will lead, aims to invest in entrepreneurs “from communities that face systemic disadvantages in building and scaling their businesses.”

SoftBank also runs the $100bn Vision Fund which invests in startups around the world.

Meanwhile, Twitter's Jack Dorsey has become the latest chief executive of a major US technology company to give financial support to an anti-racism organisation.

He tweeted that he was making a $3m donation to former NFL player Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp to "advance the liberation and well-being" of minority communities.

Mr Kaepernick is best known for kneeling during the US national anthem when he was a player for the San Francisco 49ers to protest against police killings of African-Americans.

His protests were heavily criticised by conservative figures including President Donald Trump.

In recent days some of the biggest corporations in the US have pledged to take action in support of racial equality.

On Tuesday Bank of America said it would donate $1bn over the next four years to community programmes and small businesses to help address economic and racial inequality.

In a media release chief executive Brian Moynihan said that "underlying economic and social disparities" had been made worse by the coronavirus pandemic and the "events of the past week have created a sense of true urgency".

Many other US companies, including Intel, Netflix, Nike and Facebook, have also spoken out about discrimination against African-Americans.