Facebook pledges $200mn to support black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs in the US
Social media giant Facebook has pledged $200 million to support black-owned businesses and organisations in the US, along with several other initiatives to support black communities on the occasion of Juneteenth. This comes after Google announcing to give $175 million.
The commitment is part of a broader $1.1 billion investment by Facebook in Black and diverse suppliers and communities in the US. "We're also creating a new space in the Facebook app called Lift Black Voices and we're building a more diverse and inclusive workforce so we can better support communities around the world," Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, said in a statement late Thursday.
She said Facebook is investing $100 million this year in Black-owned small businesses, Black creators, and nonprofits that serve the Black community in the US. This includes $25 million in support of Black content creators and $75 million in grants of cash and ad credits to support Black-owned businesses and nonprofits that serve the Black community.
"We're setting a goal to spend at least $1 billion with diverse suppliers next year and every year thereafter. As part of this, we'll spend at least $100 million annually with Black-owned suppliers, from facilities to construction to marketing agencies and more," informed Sandberg.
Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Wednesday announced to give over $175 million toward supporting Black business owners, startup founders, job seekers and developers. The new funds are in addition to YouTube's $100 million fund to amplify Black creators and artists.
Sandberg said that over the next three years, Facebook will reach 1 million members of the Black community and 1 million members of the Latinx community in the US through a programme called 'Elevate'.
It provides free training in the digital skills they need to succeed, from setting up an online presence to creating marketing materials and more. "We're giving 100,000 scholarships to Black students working toward digital skills certifications through our Facebook Blueprint programme," she said.
To support people raising money for causes they care about on Juneteenth, Facebook will donate $5 million to over 250,000 Facebook Fundraisers created for three racial justice organizations: Equal Justice Initiative, Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Innocence Project.
In Instagram search, the company will surface accounts to help people take action for racial justice.
"We've already committed to have 50 per cent of our workforce be from underrepresented communities by the end of 2023, and we're working to double our number of Black and Latinx employees in the same timeframe," said Sandberg.
Over the next five years, Facebook said it is committing to have 30 per cent more people of colour, including 30 per cert more Black people, in leadership positions.
Google also said that it is working to improve Black+ representation at senior levels and committing to a goal to improve leadership representation of underrepresented groups by 30 per cent by 2025.
Juneteenth celebrates the day in 1865 when enslaved people in Texas learned they were free.
*Edited from an IANS report