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Appeals Court Rules Against Fearless Fund’s Grant Program for Black Women-Owned Businesses

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled against the Fearless Fund, a venture capital fund supporting Black women-owned businesses.

The court sided with an anti-affirmative action group, led by conservative activist Edward Blum, which alleged that the Fearless Fund’s grant program violated a federal law prohibiting racial bias in private contracts.

This decision reverses a previous ruling allowing the program to continue during the lawsuit.

The Fearless Fund had a program to help Black women who don’t have enough representation in venture capital.

The Fearless Fund’s program aimed to address the underrepresentation of Black women in venture capital funding by providing $20,000 in grants and resources to help grow their businesses.

The lawsuit and subsequent ruling have sparked debates about affirmative action, diversity, and equity in business and society.

Businesses owned by Black women received less than 1% of the $288 billion deployed by venture capital firms in 2022, highlighting the need for programs like the Fearless Fund’s initiative.

The court’s decision is seen as a victory for Blum, known for his successful challenge to race-conscious college admissions policies.

However, it has drawn criticism from those who argue that the ruling contradicts civil rights law and limits efforts to support underrepresented groups. The case is likely to have broader implications for affirmative action and diversity initiatives in the future.

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