Pharrell Williams Black Ambition Program Back For Third Year With New HBCU Funding Competition

Pharrell Williams Black Ambition Program Back For Third Year With New HBCU Funding Competition

Pharrell Williams and his Black Ambition initiative have announced their third annual award competition for Black businesses.

Launched in 2020 to help close the financial gap between entrepreneurs of color and their white counterparts, the Black Ambition program has awarded millions to business founders in the fields of healthcare, technology, media and entertainment, and more. This year is no exception. The Black Ambition Prize Competition application is open and will remain available until May 1st. All applicants must be creators of a business and have at least one founder or co-founder identifying as Black or Hispanic. 

Black Ambition is also accepting applicants for its newly launched HBCU Prize Competition. All start-ups applying must have a team lead or founder with a strong affiliation with an HBCU. This person may be a current HBCU undergraduate or graduate student or have recently graduated within the past five years. That application will close on May 8th. Founders must also be Black or Hispanic. This addition to Black Ambition serves the same purpose but focuses heavily on business owners who attend or have attended historically Black institutions. 

In an Instagram Reel announcing the 2023 competition, Black Ambition says it aims to “level the playing field of opportunity and access for underrepresented founders.”

Williams expressed his excitement about being around for yet another year, helping entrepreneurs flourish. 

“We’ve accomplished so much in such a short time, and it’s been amazing to see our impact so far. Every year just gets better,” he shared.

Eligible early-stage HBCU applicants can receive up to $200,000. While standard Black Ambition Prize applicants can win up to $1,000,000 for their start-ups. 

Business owners looking to apply should head over to

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