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New Initiative Aims to Diversify Miami’s Tech Sector

Annie Erling Gofus - Apr 18 2022
Published in: Global Workforce
Tech Equity Miami is a collaborative effort by various groups to raise $100 million over five years in Miami, Florida.

A campaign was announced to raise $100 million over five years to enhance equity and inclusion in Miami's rapidly expanding technology industry.

A number of organizations, including JPMorgan Chase, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Miami Foundation, and aīre ventures, recently announced Tech Equity Miami, a transformative project that will invest $100 million over five years in the use of technology to boost equity in the city. The mission is to provide under-served communities with greater access to technology and create educational and employment prospects for youth, women, and small business owners in those areas.

The funders' consortium, which already has over $55 million in commitments, will continue to support initiatives that lower entry hurdles into the tech business and provide underrepresented groups, such as youth and small businesses, with chances.

All projects that receive a "Tech Equity Miami" designation will contribute information and statistics to a publicly accessible database that tracks the initiative's progress toward its intended results and impact objectives. The program is targeted toward those from diverse backgrounds interested in exploring technology professions.

The initiative is focused on making sure technology can help people move up the social ladder. Stakeholders consider this a down payment on long-term investment in technology to allow people who have historically been overlooked and left behind to participate fully.

Over the next five years, Tech Equity Miami aims to provide 100,000 students in Miami-Dade County with high-speed Internet access and digital literacy. Tech Equity Miami also aims to assist 25,000 underrepresented youths and workers in obtaining tech chances. Finally, the initiative will help 1,000 small firms develop digital solutions while boosting 50,000 local families' digital abilities.

Miami's growth as a global technology center is gaining momentum, with data recently showing a 45 percent increase in venture capital funds for the metro area. According to the Brookings Institution and LinkedIn, Miami's tech sector is experiencing equally strong expansion in the number of professionals choosing to work there, with a 30 percent increase in the net flow of workers in software and IT industries who arrived last year. Similarly, enrollment in technology-related programs at Florida International University and Miami Dade College is up by double digits year over year.

The tech movement is raising issues and gaps in inequality. Although 65 percent of Miami citizens self-identify as Black or Latino, only 12 percent of the city's tech workers are Black, and 27 percent are Hispanic.

The Miami Beach Entrepreneur Center's goal is to close the gap between Miami's emerging and established technology industries. The debate over technology equity has evolved beyond employment representation, with census data indicating that as many as 100,000 Miami homes lack internet access — roughly one in five.

The public-private effort is seen as having the chance to help build an inclusive tech culture in Miami. The pandemic had a particularly devastating effect on communities of color. Now more than ever, the community is striving to ensure that equity is improved in communities of color via a variety of activities.

Miami's tech sector is now at a delicate stage of development. The city has the potential to develop and influence technology in order to represent the region's tremendous diversity and offer all Miamians access to this lucrative sector. Tech Equity Miami aims to establish a flourishing, inclusive tech community that will continue to develop businesses and wealth for decades.

Miami-Dade County and additional contributors have already aided Tech Equity Miami in raising $55 million. JPMorgan Chase's $30 billion national commitment to improve racial equity, announced after George Floyd's murder in May 2020 and subsequent protests against police brutality, includes financial backing for the movement.