Pharrell Williams has long been dedicated to supporting Black and Latinx-owned early-stage companies and startups in the tech, design, healthcare, consumer products and service industries. That's why he launched his non-profit, Black Ambition. Now, he's teaming up with French fashion house Chanel to give Black and Latinx entrepreneurs an amazing opportunity.
They launched a two-part mentorship program that will provide "access to knowledge, insights and opportunities from industry-leading experts." Part one was the "Women Who Lead" panel, which was live-streamed on Friday for Black Ambition semifinalists and network members. It featured CEO, producer and actor Tracee Ellis Ross, Medley co-founder Edith Cooper, Good American CEO and co-founder Emma Grede, Imaginary Ventures co-founder and partner Natalie Massenet.
Ross mentioned during the chat, "Historically Black and Brown women do not have a stake in what they make and aren't trained or taught, societally, culturally, to actually have equity in the things that they build." And this is why avenues like Chanel and Black Ambition's partnership program are important.
The second part is a series of interactive mentorship workshops for Black Ambition prize finalists, by Chanel's leadership community and network of experts, to help them in building and sustaining their brands.
"Even when you have a great business plan you might not find the right operators," Williams told Vanity Fair. "[The mentorship program] teaches you all of those things. Success really does have a lot of authors. Usually when you say 'success has a lot of authors' it's a dig at people who didn't do something but are taking the credit. In this particular sense when it comes to running a business, success does have a lot of authors – there are a lot of signatures needed to cosign to get a brand new idea off the ground."