Mar 10, 2021 - Economy

Goldman puts $10 billion behind fight to equalize "Black Womenomics"

Percentage of households that own...

Goldman Sachs is embarking on a decade-long quest to inject $10 billion into projects that it says will impact one million Black women.

Why it matters: It's the biggest dedicated investment specifically to initiatives that target Black women by a major financial institution.

Details: The money will be disbursed in equity or grants over the next 10 years.

  • The bank also announced an advisory council — including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and actress/writer Issa Rae — that will help make decisions on how to deploy the capital.

Driving the news: The announcement comes alongside new "Black Womenomics" research released by the bank — a trove of data laying out the economic inequality Black women face in all stages of life, from prenatal care to retirement.

  • Goldman estimates trimming the earnings gap for Black women would boost economic growth by as much as 2.1% each year.
  • Black women's hourly earnings gap is 15% compared with white women — and 35% compared with white men, Goldman found.

By the numbers: Only 0.5% of single Black women own their own business — a rate 24 times lower than for single white men, per Goldman's research.

  • "I know people who are not Black women — they got loans based on projections. I feel like I jump through more hoops just to get access to capital," Letha Pugh, an owner of a Columbus-based bakery called Bake me Happy, tells Axios.
  • Pugh was a member of Goldman's 10,000 Small Business Owner program, a previously announced initiative that helps small businesses grow their business.
  • Meanwhile, single Black women are six times less likely to own stocks than single white men and nearly 50% less likely to own a home.

What they're saying: "A very powerful institution is devoting money, research, focus and attention and trying to lift up part of our economy that has not had this kind of focused attention," Opportunity Finance Network CEO, and a member of the Goldman advisory council, Lisa Mensah tells Axios.

The big picture: Major corporations have increasingly been investing more in anti-racist causes since the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others sparked a nationwide reckoning a little over a year ago.

What to watch: How the money is distributed. The bank is targeting investments in areas like housing, health care, child care and more.

Go deeper: Goldman's 32-page "Black Womenomics" report ... Details: "One Million Black Women"

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