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February 28, 2022

Helping Create Economic Opportunity for Black Communities

Submitted by fp-admin on Fri, 02/25/2022 - 14:18

The Sempra family of companies have long supported Black and African American communities as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion and vision to deliver energy with purpose. Rooted in the belief that economic opportunity and prosperity are central to advancing equity, we work hard to foster strategic relationships with the communities and customers our operating companies serve.

In fact, in the last year alone, Sempra’s family of companies engaged nonprofit organizations serving nearly 100,000 Black and African American people across the U.S. This year, Sempra’s corporate priority of economic prosperity is focused on educational attainment, job creation and security, financial stability and wellbeing, entrepreneurship and professional growth and development to further drive economic stability and prosperity for Black and African American communities.

Helping to Eliminate Barriers

Expanding upon our work to foster strong and sustainable communities in Texas, Sempra recently partnered with the Houston Area Urban League to launch the League’s Entrepreneurship Center’s Small Business University and Small Business Exchange. Both programs seek to eliminate barriers faced by Black- and other diverse-owned businesses and entrepreneurs of color by providing support through all stages of entrepreneurship — from early discovery and start-up, to small business growth, development and success.

Supporting the Expansion of Access

San Diego-based social enterprise, Mission Edge, brings entrepreneurs’ ideas to life by providing strategic support, operational tools and financial sponsorship to nonprofits and social-purpose businesses. Sempra supports Mission Edge’s Seed the Future Impact Fund, which provides access to capital for early-stage entrepreneurs. The Fund addresses a systemic barrier faced by businesses that are owned and operated by Black and other founders of color: gaining access to seed capital. When seed money and intensive technical and sales support are provided to business owners and operators in underserved communities, the result is often growth, scale, and profitability.

In addition to these examples, Sempra’s California utilities, Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) have made meaningful contributions toward Black and African American communities. Mapping Black California, an initiative supported by SoCalGas, illustrates the impacts of COVID-19 on Black and African American communities along with locations of Black-led nonprofits in SoCalGas' service area. By identifying gaps, SoCalGas and others can pinpoint opportunities to better support these communities.

In another example, SDG&E supported an exhibit entitled “Say Their Names,” which commemorates the lives of 200 Black individuals who were killed as a result of racial injustice, and highlights civil rights leaders in its service area.

At Sempra, our values of do the right thing, champion people and shape the future are drivers of year-round actions. We believe in the power and impact of sustained relationships and community investments and continually seek opportunities to support Black and African American communities in priority areas such as education, economic empowerment and entrepreneurship. Learn more about our community investment programs by visiting the Sempra Foundation.