Last updated on March 22, 2021
The City of Orlando City Council Approves Funds for Black Tech Orlando New Partnership Aims to Increase Equity in Tech Careers
March 22, 2021 - ORLANDO, FL — As part of the City of Orlando’s efforts to ensure that every person in Orlando is equally valued, equally protected and has equitable access to opportunities, today the Orlando City Council approved a funding agreement with Black Orlando Tech, a local nonprofit organization that works to accelerate minority economic advancement by increasing the awareness, activities, network and resources for local minorities who pursue careers or entrepreneurship in technology.
“During the last year, we’ve had a lot of community conversations, and one of the things we heard from our residents is they want the city to explore new ways to support minority businesses and entrepreneurs,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. "As a community we’ve worked hard to grow and nurture a strong tech and entrepreneurial ecosystem and with this new partnership, today, we further that effort to ensure every resident has an equal opportunity to start and grow a business that allows them to thrive in Orlando.”
Through this new partnership, also supported by Orange County Government, Black Orlando Tech will embark on a 12-month exercise to align local stakeholders within the city of Orlando and Orange County to identify specific priorities the community could pursue to grow and sustain a more equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem. The result of this process will be a detailed strategic plan to advance these strategies to further address racial injustices and economic inequities that exist for minority entrepreneurs.
“This partnership is an achievement of one Orange County’s main goals, which is building a community that works for everyone,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. “A thriving minority tech sector will add stability and strength to our growing business community.”
To accomplish the completion of the strategic plan, Black Orlando Tech will also partner with Forward Cities, a national nonprofit that has a history of helping communities grow and sustain more equitable entrepreneurial ecosystems that support emerging and established under-connected and under-invested entrepreneurs and small businesses.
“Diversity means embracing and considering everyone's unique lived experiences,” said Rose LeJiste, Executive Director of Black Orlando Tech. “Every industry, including tech, really is stronger when conversations about inclusivity shift beyond just talk to action and real change. Black Orlando Tech is committed to doing our part by helping launch bright minority minds into tech careers and entrepreneurial endeavors.”
Samantha HolstenPublic Information Officer