Nike is investing $500,000 into Washington, D.C.-based Black Girl Ventures, according to Essence.com.
Black Girl Ventures aka BGV was founded in 2016 by CEO Shelly Bell. The $500K investment comes as part of the $40 million, racial justice-minded NIKE, Inc. Black Community Commitment launched in June 2020. This commitment to support Black business was initiated following nationwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality.
“Imagine launching a company from your living room in Southeast D.C., where 30 women threw money into a hat to fund Black women founders then becoming a nationally recognized organization,” Bell wrote in an email newsletter to the BGV community. “That was the beginning of Black Girl Ventures. We have reached 64 countries, over a million people, funded 120 women directly, raised over $3M, and our founders support $10M in jobs.
“I feel emotional right now but I also feel like I am moving on purpose,” Shelly Bell said of the Nike funding. “As a team we feel a lot of responsibility — the Black Girl Ventures team doesn’t take this responsibility lightly. We are honored.”
BGV won second place and a $125,000 prize in November 2020 as part of the Goldman Sachs Gives initiative, which lets Goldman Sachs’ current and retired senior employees pitch and recommend grants for underserved startups to the company’s CEO.