NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today, the launch of a new grant program to aid small businesses owned by individuals from underrepresented communities. The five recipients, all Black-owned, technology-based businesses, will each be awarded $10,000 to help them grow and thrive.
“This inaugural grant program reflects our mission to make a secure financial future possible for everyone. Several of these startups are women-owned, all are Black-owned, and each one demonstrates a commitment not just to success, but to a shared value with Voya — giving back to the community,” said Braeden Mayrisch, associate vice president, Stakeholder Equity and Impact, and vice president, Voya Foundation. “We invest in Black and African American leaders, be they teachers, STEM professionals, or small businesses and nonprofit executives, and showcase aspirational careers to our nation’s children.”
The grants are a program developed by the company’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force, undertaken in collaboration with the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), focused on supporting Black- and African American-owned businesses and positioning Black entrepreneurs as role models for youth.
“AEO and our 2,600 members and partners are excited to support this vital work — helping underserved entrepreneurs contribute to the economic growth of their families and communities,” said Connie E. Evans, president and CEO of AEO. “It is even more impactful that these grants are targeting an underrepresented field like technology.”
The five grant recipients — each of which offer technology-based products and solutions for different industries and are at various stages in their corporate development — are:
- Imani Software, a technology service based in Pflugerville, Texas, that provides education administrators with early warning and intervention assistance for at-risk youth.
- LiftEd, located in Brooklyn, New York, this education technology service uses data and software tools to support special-education instructors, simplify success monitoring, and enhance lesson plans.
- Nailstry, an augmented reality beauty application based in Davie, Florida.
- Shared Knowledge, an education technology service that designs free smartphone apps to help with data analysis, training, and mental health in school systems, based in Sterling, Virginia.
- Total Analysis, is a Detroit-based technology company that uses a platform to streamline pathogen identification in the healthcare space.
About Voya Financial®
Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), is a leading health, wealth and investment company that provides products, solutions and technologies that help Americans become well planned, well invested and well protected. Serving the needs of 14.3 million individual, workplace and institutional clients, Voya is a Fortune 500 company that had $4.2 billion in revenue in 2021 and $739 billion in total assets under management and administration as of Dec. 31, 2021. Certified as a “Great Place to Work” by the Great Place to Work® Institute, Voya is purpose-driven and is equally committed to conducting business in a way that is socially, environmentally, economically and ethically responsible. Voya has earned recognition as: one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® by the Ethisphere Institute; a member of the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index; and a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” on the Disability Equality Index. For more information, visit voya.com. Follow Voya Financial on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter @Voya.
About Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO)
AEO is the leading voice of innovation for microbusiness and microfinance. We create economic opportunity for underserved entrepreneurs throughout the United States. We engineer transformational change through Research, Incubation, Convening & Advocacy to foster a robust and inclusive marketplace. For more information, visit aeoworks.org.
Phone: (917) 868-7485