Be Nimble Foundation Partners with Microsoft to Launch Upskilling Program for Black Talent

$300,000 grant from Microsoft’s community skills program will enable Be Nimble to launch 6 UI/UX, sales and customer success cohorts through 2023

Be Nimble Foundation, a 501(c)(3) social enterprise creating fully diverse and inclusive tech ecosystems, announces it received a $300,000 grant award from Microsoft as part of its community skills program. A $15 million investment over three years to 50 selected nonprofits, one from each state, working to increase skill development and economic opportunities, Microsoft’s community skills program is accelerating the work of Black-led nonprofits that provide digital skills and workforce development to Black communities.

“Jeff and I created Be Nimble to close the economic wealth gap and create generational wealth for our community,” said Kelli Jones, co-founder of Be Nimble and managing partner at Sixty8 Capital. “Access to capital, opportunity, and resources must be more equitable, and this grant from Microsoft will allow us to continue our work toward dismantling the historically high barrier to entry into tech careers and entrepreneurship.”

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The grant will enable Be Nimble to further its efforts to upskill Black community members interested in entering the tech workforce through a variety of bootcamps focused on UX/UI design and development, tech sales and customer success. Through partnerships with Eleven Fifty, a nonprofit code academy and bootcamp, and gener8tor Upskilling, a free skills training program, the program will begin accepting applications to its sales cohort launching in April now. Mia Baird has been hired by Be Nimble to lead the initiative as the Program Director. Two cohorts will launch this year and another four are planned through 2023.

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“Last June, our CEO Satya Nadella committed Microsoft to put its data, technology, and partnerships to work to help improve the lives of Black and African American people across the country,” said Kate Behncken, Vice President and Lead of Microsoft Philanthropies. “We’re proud to partner with Be Nimble Foundation, led by and serving Black and African American people, which is providing access to the digital skills needed for so many jobs today. We’re inspired by their work, and excited we can be a part of it.”

The new bootcamps join a list of existing initiatives from Be Nimble aimed at eliminating the barriers to access and opportunity that prevent achievement in tech for people of color, including its early-stage accelerator, idea-stage accelerator, Melon Kitchen food entrepreneurship accelerator and multiple training programs.

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