Jan 9, 2024
National Bankers Association Joins Second Amicus Brief Filed in Fearless Fund Case to Support Black Women Entrepreneurs
Washington, DC- The National Bankers Association (NBA) announced today that it has co-signed a second amicus brief filed by the Black Economic Alliance Foundation (BEA) in response to a decision made by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the case against the Fearless Foundation. The foundation helps bridge the capital funding gap for women of color starting businesses and provides grants to Black women entrepreneurs. The court’s decision ruled in favor of the American Alliance of Equal Rights and ordered the foundation to pause all grant applications.
The amicus brief follows another filed in September. Both focus on the barriers that Black women entrepreneurs face and highlight that historically discriminatory systems are fully present in our economy to this day. Black women business owners who apply for funding face rejection three times higher than white business owners and receive less than one percent of venture capital funding. The Fearless Foundation’s Fearless Strivers Grant Contest works to address this gap and support new talent and innovation.
“Entrepreneurship is a cornerstone of the American dream, yet Black women face disproportionate challenges,” said National Bankers Foundation CEO Nicole Elam. “The Fearless Fund provides a vital bridge over the venture capital funding gap, empowering Black women to thrive in business. It is disheartening to witness attempts to impede progress, as exemplified by the misguided action against the Fearless Fund. The BEA’s recent polling reflects overwhelming support for initiatives that promote racial diversity in business as it not only benefits the Black community, but our entire economy.”
Additional co-signers include the US Black Chambers, Executive Leadership Council and National Association of Investment Companies, all of whom oppose attempts to roll back progress made in improving racial diversity in the business sector.
About the Fearless Fund
The Fearless Foundation Grant Programs were implemented to help Women of Color entrepreneurs gain access to capital. The grant programs support the growth of small businesses, advancement of women’s entrepreneurship, and the lowering of racial disparities.
About National Bankers Association
Founded in 1927, the National Bankers Association is the voice for the nation's Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs). No other trade association focuses solely on the priorities, federal advocacy, and representation of minority-owned and -operated banks. Members include Black, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, and women-owned and -operated banks. MDIs are located across 32 states and territories. For more information, visit nationalbankers.org.