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PRONGHORN LAUNCHES INITIATIVE TO DIVERSIFY THE SPIRITS INDUSTRY

Incubator and accelerator programs now open to Black entrepreneurs within the spirits industry

ATLANTA, GA – February 22, 2022 – Enrollment is now open for Pronghorn’s incubator and accelerator programs. Pronghorn is an independent company dedicated to expanding diversity within the alcohol industry by cultivating and investing in the next generation of Black founders, executives, and entrepreneurs in a sustainable and scalable way. The initiative is committed to generating $2.4 billion in economic value for the Black community by 2032. Black founders are eligible to submit their spirits brand for consideration and brands will be selected based on a variety of criteria. To learn more or apply for the Pronghorn initiative. visit www.PRONGHORN.co/.

According to Pronghorn research, while Black Americans represent 12% of alcohol consumers across categories, they make up just 7.8% of the sector’s labor force and 2% of executives in the industry. To address these issues, Pronghorn’s plan is two-fold:


  • To address the employment gap, Pronghorn will work with the Black community to develop a pipeline of talent that will fill 1,800 roles within the industry; roles that will be committed to by suppliers, distributors, and retailers.
  • To generate wealth and drive acquisitions, Pronghorn will serve as a hybrid incubator and accelerator, making capital investments in 57 Black-owned brands, while also providing supercharging capabilities that allow brands to leverage industry-leading knowledge and resources to realize their brand’s ambitions.

“The pronghorn is the fastest land mammal in North America. And the second-fastest land mammal in the whole world. A cheetah would beat a pronghorn in a sprint. But in a marathon, a pronghorn will win every time. We have centuries of inequity to catch up from. We need to go far, but we need to go fast” said Dia Simms, Co-Founder, Pronghorn. “So there are a lot of interesting things about the animal that inspired the way we wanted to build Pronghorn…. It’s a template on how to effectively diversify any industry. And we're starting with the spirits industry. And we're starting with the Black community.”

The $2.4B approximation of economic value is based on the estimated direct impact on supplier-tier, employee, and entrepreneurial participation. This estimated direct impact plan will potentially raise the national average hourly salary of Black Americans to $34 per hour within the Spirits industry.

“We are focused on granting access and removing barriers that have put Black people and other communities of color at a disadvantage when it comes to ownership, investing or just working within the spirits industry in general,” said Erin Harris, Co-Founder, Pronghorn. “Pronghorn will work to open as many doors as possible to help uplift our communities for the long term. Just like the beautiful animal we chose to name our company after, we are prepared to go the distance to make our vision reality.”

In 2021, Diageo North America became an anchor investor in Pronghorn. For more information on how to participate in the Pronghorn initiative, visit www.PRONGHORN.co/.

ABOUT PRONGHORN:
Pronghorn is a standalone company focused on cultivating the next generation of Black entrepreneurs, executive leaders, and founders within the spirits industry. Through sustainable capital investments, incubation, and recruitment programs, Pronghorn removes barriers and grants access to critical resources that empowers untapped talent and emerging black businesses to reach their full potential. The organization was co-founded in 2021 by spirits industry veterans Dia Simms, Erin Harris, and Dan Sanborn. The pronghorn is the fastest North American land mammal and can endure speeds for miles. Inspired by our namesake, Pronghorn believes creating real change is a marathon, not a sprint. For more information visit: www.pronghorn.co.

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