Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz will invest $100 million into The Entrepreneurs Equity Fund (EEF) through his family’s foundation.
The EEF aims to provide equitable funding for entrepreneurs and business owners that come from marginalized backgrounds, who typically receive a fraction of investments compared to their white counterparts.
“America’s future rests on our entrepreneurial fire. But in recent years, the spark within many entrepreneurs has struggled to find the oxygen to burn bright,” said Schultz. “The causes are many: predatory practices, lack of access to capital and social networks, the need for learning and community, and the systemic failures that lead some to not even try.”
Along with using this funding to boost minority-owned businesses, the EEF will provide grants that go towards mentorship, training, and research.
Starbucks has come under fire recently for what some employees are calling union intimidation tactics. Recently, it was announced that one of the company’s first unionized coffee shops in Ithaca, New York would close.
While the coffee giant claims this is part of routine openings and closures, Starbucks Workers United state that this is in retaliation to the recent slew of unionization that has occurred companywide.