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St. Louis region's largest employer invests in local fund for Black, Latino entrepreneurs

BJC Healthcare announces investment in Wepower Capital.
Credit: KSDK
BJC Healthcare has invested in a fund that backs Black and Latino founders.

ST. LOUIS — BJC HealthCare, the St. Louis region’s largest employer, has invested in a local fund that was launched to provide capital to local Black and Latino entrepreneurs.

The health system said Wednesday it has made an investment in Wepower Capital, a fund founded by St. Louis nonprofit Wepower. BJC declined to disclose the amount of its investment.

Wepower, which seeks to create equitable education and economic systems in St. Louis and announced the fund's launch in August 2021, said Wednesday its fund totals $1.5 million. It previously said that investors in the fund have included New York-based Living Cities, a collection of foundations and financial institutions focused on making investments to eradicate racial gaps, as well as St. Louis-based investors.

BJC’s investment comes after Wepower Capital in September 2022 announced its first investment from the fund, provided to St. Louis e-commerce startup Bold Xchange. Wepower said Wednesday it plans to make additional investments this year.

"BJC’s investment is an enlightened choice. It reflects an understanding that investments can be used as a tool to advance equity,” said Yoni Blumberg, vice president of community wealth building at Wepower. “As a region, the more we think about our investments holistically and consider both the social and economic impact they can achieve, the sooner we will unlock billions of dollars to invest in creating a much more vibrant, equitable, and sustainable future for St. Louis and the world more broadly."

Click here for the full story from the St. Louis Business Journal.

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