In honor of Jackie Robinson Day, The San Diego Foundation and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) are pleased to announce a $42,000 grant to the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce (CSDBCC) in support of a new initiative to support Black women entrepreneurs in San Diego.
"Black women entrepreneurs are among the fastest-growing group of women-owned businesses, but they still face the dual challenges of racial and gender discrimination," said Tashonda Taylor, SDG&E's vice president of customer operations. "We remember #42 for breaking the color barrier in professional baseball, but he also opened the door for greater equity and diversity in business as the first Black vice president of a major American corporation after baseball. In his honor, we hope this grant will contribute to greater equity for Black women-owned business in the San Diego region."
While many Black women continue to make significant strides in the business world, many still face numerous business challenges, such as disproportionately limited access to capital, smaller business networks, and insufficient skills development and mentorship opportunities. Research shows that Black women are among the least likely to receive support from venture capitalists. "To realize just, equitable and resilient communities, Black women entrepreneurs can now receive much-needed financial support to launch, sustain or scale their businesses," shared Pamela Gray Payton, chief impact & partnerships officer at The San Diego Foundation. "This grant and the leadership of the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce will also help continue to build generational wealth for San Diego's Black community."
This grant is in addition to the Black Business Relief Grant Fund, launched in June of 2020 by the CSDBCC to provide pandemic relief to thousands of San Diego Black business owners. Supported by the City of San Diego, SDG&E, The San Diego Foundation, Sony Electronics, the San Diego Padres, Cox Communications, and several other individuals and organizations, the Fund provided assistance to 200 small, Black-owned businesses. "Our ultimate goal is to develop support and recognize Black-women business owners," said Donna Deberry, CSDBCC's president and chief executive officer. "It's important to give them equitable opportunities to compete in the marketplace." The grant will be invested into development and recognition opportunities and monetary assistance for Black women business owners. Interested applicants can apply on the CSDBCC website starting July 1, 2021.