Constellation to invest $100m in BIPOC-owned businesses

Constellation Brands has committed to investing US$100 million in black and minority-owned drinks companies over the next 10 years.

Constellation-owned Kim Crawford Wines has partnered with Black Girl Venture

The Corona beer owner has announced a “multi-initiative social justice action plan”, designed at improving equality both within the company and the wider alcohol industry.

As well as the 10-year investment commitment, Constellation is also donating $1 million to the Equal Justice Imitative, an Alabama-based charity that provides legal representation to prisoners who have been illegally convicted of crimes and advocates equal treatment in the American criminal justice system.

The company has also instated training programmes for its employees in order to “eliminate bias, and continue to foster a safe and inclusive working environment for all”. Constellation said it is reviewing its recruitment and talent development practices, and also evaluating brand engagement and advertising polices to better reflect its commitment to equality.

Its New Zealand wine brand Kim Crawford, for example, has partnered with Black Girl Venture, a non-profit organisation campaigning for better funding for female BIPOC entrepreneurs.

The $100 million investment will be controlled by the company’s venture capital arm Constellation Brands Ventures, and will follow a similar format to its Focus on Female Founders campaign, unveiled in 2018, which likewise committed $100 million to start-ups led by women. 

Called Focus on Minority Founders, the scheme aims to address the imbalance in investment in black and minority-owned start-ups. According to a study conducted by Rate My Investor studying the period from 2013 to 2017, just 1% of venture capital-backed entrepreneurs were black.

Constellation will also provide sales, marketing, operations and finance training for the companies which it invests in.

President and CEO of Constellation Brands, Bill Newlands, commented: “The conditions that have allowed systemic racism to persist in the US have existed far too long. We categorically denounce bigotry, racism, and social injustice. They are clearly inconsistent with our company values and our commitment to embracing diversity and creating an inclusive environment where all employees feel safe, respected, and valued. We stand in solidarity with the Black community and we are committed to achieving meaningful and lasting change.”

Speaking about the success of the company’s Female Founders Campaign, Newlands added: “In a little over a year, CBV’s Focus on Female Founders initiative has shifted our CBV portfolio mix from 20% female-owned to 50% female-owned. This reinforces there is a real need for these programmes, and they can drive measurable improvement in minority representation for our industry.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters