Accenture Black Founders Development Program

Helping to level the playing field for Black technology startup founders and entrepreneurs through investment, mentorship, community, and support.

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Accenture's commitment to elevate Black founders

Accenture launched the Black Founders Development Program to help Black entrepreneurs advance and grow their technology businesses through greater, more direct access to venture capital, corporate mentorship, and strategic connections with Accenture’s business partners, clients, and people.

Led by Accenture Ventures, the new initiative will help improve Black communities’ ability to create wealth for those who previously did not have a seat at the table, as well as enable the next generation of innovation.

"Leadership, resources, technology and investment expertise are all areas where Accenture can deliver significant support to Black entrepreneurs, helping them to accelerate innovation and further grow their businesses."

— Kathryn Ross, Global Open Innovation Lead and the Black Founders Development Program Lead for Accenture Ventures

What does it mean to lead change?

Listen in as Jimmy Etheredge, Accenture CEO – North America; Kathryn Ross, Accenture Global Open Innovation Lead and Black Founders Development Program Lead; Paul Daugherty, Accenture Group Chief Executive – CTO; and will.i.am, musician, entrepreneur and Founder of the i.am.Angel Foundation tackle critical topics. Their eye-opening conversations cover the challenges of building networks to provide economic opportunity for Black entrepreneurs, the role that technology needs to play in creating greater equality and much more.

Leading change: Episode 1

Break down barriers to equality.

Leading change: Episode 2

Build a culture of entrepreneurship.

Leading change: Episode 3

Foster careers in technology.

"Black entrepreneurs continue to innovate but face bias and lack access to capital and opportunity in the venture capital community, receiving a disproportionately small amount of funding. Big change is clearly needed, and Accenture Ventures will help lead that change."

— Paul Daugherty, Group Chief Executive – Technology and Chief Technology Officer at Accenture

Accenture Ventures model for change

To address inequities in venture capital across the Black community, change requires research, conversation, understanding, action, and joint partnership. Accenture Ventures seeks to deliver a differentiated program through:

Strategic investment

Co-creating a strategy, alongside diverse entrepreneurs, leaders, and advisors, to invest in Black founders.  We will start in North America this year and look to expand geographically soon after.

Community engagement

Building localized networks of meaningful relationships with Black founders, VCs, and influencers plus access to “Best of Accenture” resources and people.

Thought leadership

Consistently challenging orthodoxies in VC by conducting and publishing data-driven research, accelerating change in the technology industry.

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Our advisory council

To help guide its future investment strategy, an advisory council made up of diverse, established business leaders and partners has been created to mentor Black founders and CEOs. Accenture is excited and honored to partner with the following members.

Robert E. Knowling, Jr.

Chairman at Eagles Landing Partners. LinkedIn

Kay Koplovitz

Co-founder & Chairman, Springboard Enterprises. LinkedIn

Dr. Charlton McIlwain

Vice Provost for Faculty Engagement & Development at New York University. LinkedIn

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Accenture Makes Strategic Investment in African Fintech Startup Okra

The Nigeria-based fintech company is an open finance data infrastructure startup serving the rapidly expanding African financial services market.

Accenture launches Black Founders Development Program to support Black entrepreneurs

New Accenture Ventures program to invest in and develop Black technology startup founders and CEOs.

Kathryn Ross AP interview highlights Accenture pledge to elevate Black start-ups

Ross discusses the inspiration behind the Black Founders Development Program to support, elevate, and amplify Black founders and entrepreneurs.

Accenture update on actions - we stand against racism

Announcing new goals in the United States, mandatory training to identify and speak up about racism, and community investments to help drive change.

Ventures' Kathryn Ross shares perspective with ZD NET on cultivating VC funding for Black entrepreneurs

Accenture's Black Founders Development Program includes strategic investment, as well as community engagement and thought leadership.

Accenture and Springboard Enterprises expand collaboration to increase opportunities for women entrepreneurs

Springboard Enterprises is a network of influencers, investors and innovators dedicated to building high growth companies led by women.

Meet the team

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

Want to get connected? We want to hear from you!

Are you working on an enterprise software technology solution? Do you have ideas for collaboration? Reach out via the submission form below. For the latest program info follow our program lead, Kathy Ross, on LinkedIn and Twitter!

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