Press Releases

JPMorgan Chase today announced Advancing Black Pathways (ABP) to build on the firm’s existing efforts helping black Americans achieve economic success. As part of this, the firm is expanding its Entrepreneurs of Color Fund model to Greater Washington, D.C., providing capital and business training to underserved minority entrepreneurs in the region.


“Making the economy work for more people is not only a moral obligation – it is a business imperative,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of JPMorgan Chase. “We are expanding our existing commitment to help create economic opportunity for more black families, businesses, employees, and communities.”

Economic opportunity is out of reach for many black Americans, who lack access to resources that can help put them on a path to great careers, build wealth, grow a business, and participate in the benefits of a growing economy.

“We know that when we bring the full power of our firm to our branches, customers and communities, we can make a significant positive impact,” said Thasunda Duckett, CEO of JPMorgan Chase’s Consumer Bank and the ABP executive sponsor. “I’m so proud to play a role in Advancing Black Pathways which will provide more opportunities for black Americans to build wealth.”

ABP, which will continue to roll out new programs in the coming months, combines the firm’s business and philanthropic resources to accelerate economic opportunity for black Americans in three ways:

  1. Strengthen Education and Job Training: Improve education and job readiness for black students. This includes a commitment to hire more than 4,000 black students over the next five years in roles including college and high school internships and apprenticeships. Additionally, the firm will expand partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other non-profit organizations to recruit talent and support the professional development and financial health of black students.
  2. Grow Careers: Promote a culture where all employees are treated fairly, with respect, and have access to career opportunities. The firm will build on the success of its Advancing Black Leaders recruitment program by expanding career leadership pathways for black talent, including its Director Advisory Service to help develop and recommend more black executives for clients’ Boards of Directors.
  3. Build Wealth: Help strengthen the financial wellness of black families. With unique insights into the financial needs of Americans, JPMorgan Chase and ABP will develop strategic partnerships to improve black Americans’ financial health, including in its branches, by helping to build savings, improving credit, providing homebuyer counseling, and helping black-owned small businesses access capital. To start, the firm will expand the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund to the Greater Washington region.

Expanding Opportunity and Promoting Diversity

ABP builds on existing JPMorgan Chase programs to expand opportunity and promote diversity.

  • The Fellowship Initiative (TFI) provides intensive academic and leadership training to help young men of color from economically-distressed communities complete their high school educations and better prepare them to excel in colleges and universities.
    • 140 students have completed the program in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York
    • 100 percent high school graduation and college acceptance to date
    • $30 million in scholarships and aid provided
  • Advancing Black Leaders expands the firm’s recruitment of black Americans while also promoting leadership excellence and retention. Since 2016, JPMorgan Chase has increased the number of black Managing Directors by 41 percent and black Executive Directors by 53 percent.
  • Entrepreneurs of Color Fund expands access to capital for minority entrepreneurs. Launched in Detroit in 2015, the program has since expanded to Chicago, San Francisco and the South Bronx. To date, more than $17 million from JPMorgan Chase has attracted another $22 million in external capital for these local funds and helped create or preserve 1,250 jobs at minority-owned small businesses.

Expanding Entrepreneurs of Color Fund to Greater Washington

The opportunity to drive economic growth by investing in black families and businesses is real. Nielsen found black consumers have $1.2 trillion in buying power. According to Global Policy Solutions, if people of color owned businesses at the same rates as white entrepreneurs, it would result in 9 million more jobs and $300 billion in worker income. According to the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, if black-owned businesses could reach employment parity with all firms, they would create nearly 600,000 new jobs and put black job-seekers at full employment.

JPMorgan Chase is expanding its Entrepreneurs of Color Fund to the Greater Washington region, seeding the loan fund with a commitment of $3.65 million, alongside a $2 million commitment from Capital Impact Partners and a $1 million investment from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, for a total of $6.65 million. This effort builds on existing Entrepreneurs of Color Funds in Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco and the South Bronx.

“Investing in minority-owned businesses is one of the most effective ways we can drive job growth and economic opportunity in the region,” said Peter Scher, Head of Corporate Responsibility and Chairman of the Mid-Atlantic Region for JPMorgan Chase. “The Greater Washington region is thriving, but opportunity is not shared equally. With the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, we are bringing a proven model that expands access to capital across our region and will help ensure that more people have a chance to participate in our growing economy.”

The Fund will provide capital and other resources to local minority entrepreneurs in the region, from northern Virginia to Baltimore. Additionally, JPMorgan Chase has formed strategic partnerships with national and local funders including the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Baltimore Community Foundation to complement various small business and impact investing initiatives occurring throughout the region aimed at boosting local economic activity and job creation. According to the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, Washington D.C.’s small businesses, collectively, could significantly reduce unemployment in the city by hiring just one additional person per business.

“Together, by expanding access to capital and supporting our local entrepreneurs, we’re giving more Washingtonians a fair shot,” said Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. “Small and local businesses are not only the backbone of our economy, they are also an opportunity for our residents to participate in D.C.’s prosperity. By expanding the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund to Washington, D.C., JPMorgan Chase will support the local work we are doing to create pathways to the middle class for residents across all eight wards.”

The program will pair low-cost capital with business advisory services, including networking support and business coaching, to support diverse entrepreneurs and drive business growth.

  • Preserving and growing minority-owned businesses in commercial corridors: Working with the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) and the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif), the Fund will:
    1. Provide capital to update and invest in the storefronts, inventory, and service delivery systems, as well as technical assistance for minority-owned small businesses along commercial corridors in Washington, D.C.’s Wards 7 and 8;
    2. Support the preservation of long-standing minority-owned small businesses in commercial corridors to mitigate the impact of large-scale infrastructure projects.

Additionally, the Harbor Bank of Maryland will lead efforts to provide low-cost loans and business support to minority businesses in Baltimore and Prince George’s County.

  • Cultivating a new generation of minority housing developers: Replicating the success of the Equitable Development Initiative in Detroit, the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund will work with Capital Impact Partners to provide tailored low-cost capital to support minority housing developers in the region.
  • Streamlining anchor institution procurement: Similar to the San Francisco Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, which taps into supplier diversity pipelines to the Chase Center, the fund will work with the Wacif and the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development to offer the capital and advice needed for more local minority-owned businesses to scale and secure contracts from Washington-region anchor institutions, which have committed to purchasing more than $2 billion in supplies and services from diverse businesses in the region.

Leveraging Expertise

Sekou Kaalund will lead Advancing Black Pathways, reporting to executive sponsor Thasunda Duckett. JPMorgan Chase has also established an External Advisory Council to offer unique expertise and inform ABP’s approach to driving inclusive growth in communities. The Council consists of the following civic and business leaders:

  • James Bell, Board Director at JPMorgan Chase, Dow Chemical, Chicago Urban League, World Business Chicago and Apple
  • Maverick Carter, Business Manager for LeBron James and CEO of SpringHill Entertainment and UNINTERRUPTED
  • Richelieu Dennis, Founder of Sundial Brands, Essence Ventures and Owner of Essence Communications
  • Kevin Hart, Actor, Comedian and CEO of Hartbeat/LOL Network
  • Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments, Head of the Economic Club of Chicago and Board Director at JPMorgan Chase, Starbucks and Estee Lauder
  • Andrea Hoffman, Founder and CEO of Culture Shift Labs
  • Marc Morial, CEO of the National Urban League and former Mayor of New Orleans
  • Soledad O’Brien, Chairwoman of Starfish Media Group and broadcast journalist
  • Secretary Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State and US Army General (Ret.)
  • James Rhee, Ashley Stewart CEO, Founder and President of FirePine Group
  • Secretary Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State, former National Security Advisor and professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Michael Sorrell, President of Paul Quinn College


Click for more information about Advancing Black Pathways.

Click for more information about the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund.


About JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services Firm with assets of $3.2 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands.

Caitlin Legacki