According to Spelman College, Mya Havard, an alumnus of the school, has been awarded Pharrell Williams’ $100,000 Black Ambition Prize.
The funds will be allocated to support Shea’d, which helps Black business owners by providing shoppers with products owned by Black entrepreneurs.
“Shea’d is a browser extension that finds consumer-conscious (Black-owned, sustainable, American-made) alternatives to products they are currently looking for online. With Shea’d, consumers don’t have to break their existing shopping habits to be able to shop consciously,” the founders told Spelman college.
Havard worked as a research assistant in the political science department, was a former student trustee at Spelman, and served in several organizations, including Spelmanities and Tiaras, Student Ambassadors, and the Louis Strokes Alliance Minority program.
“Recent events and tragedies have illustrated the always existent stark divisions in the American experience, and while entrepreneurship has long been a tenet of the American dream, marginalized people have faced long-standing barriers to success,” said Pharrell Williams in a press release with Business Wire.
“With Black Ambition, the goal is to help strengthen the pipeline of talented entrepreneurs and close the opportunity and wealth gaps derived from limited access to capital and resources,” he added.
After graduating from the HBCU, Havard obtained her Master’s of management science and engineering from Stanford University and is currently working as a product manager for Twitter.
The Black Ambition Prize aims to support Black and Latinx entrepreneurs with a long-term commitment from Pharrell Williams.
The Black Ambition and Black Ambition HBCU were founded in 2020 and partners with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and help provide resources for current and former Black and Latinx cHBCU students with startup companies in different career fields.
It also aids entrepreneurs with capital gains, mentorship opportunities, feedback for pitches, and prize money up to $250,000.