Envolve is excited to announce a new initiative focused on supporting innovative Black and Brown entrepreneurs in the environmental justice space. The Center for Community Engagement, Environmental Justice, and Health (CEEJH), at the University of Maryland, led by Dr. Sacoby Wilson, will work with Envolve throughout the year to highlight 12 founders who have incorporated environmental justice into their business models. This initiative falls under Meta’s wider environmental justice support to the University of Maryland. 

Through this joint effort, each of these founders will receive a grant to use as capital for their business, pro bono advising sessions from professional volunteers, and amplification of their stories. 

The first cohort will highlight founders in the Greater Washington DC – Baltimore area whose businesses present tech-enabled solutions to environmental justice and climate related challenges. Joining the inaugural cohort are: 

  • Jeffrey Neal, Loop Closing: Loop Closing disrupts the $11 billion food waste hauling industry by fully supporting the deployment of commercially available food waste composting machines that are engineered for on-site use. This saves clients money while providing the needed composting capacity, reversing climate chaos, generating green skilled jobs, and dismantling structural inequities for regenerating our soils, communities, and the environment.
  • Melissa Floyd, Peatland Technologies: Peatland Technologies wants to change the world with new technology, community involvement and microbes. They are developing two technologies that work in tandem. One will prevent the formation of methane (CH4), a greenhouse gas that is significantly more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2), and that is currently underestimated in carbon budget estimates. The other will precisely measure methane, providing a data-driven estimate of the scale of the problem the planet faces. Simultaneously, they will generate zero carbon electricity for small scale applications, including in the developing world.
  • Marcellis Counts, Apiary in the Sky: Apiary in the Sky was founded (1) to address various quality of life concerns residents face on a daily through beekeeping (2) to create more representation and support networks for Black beekeepers. Many urban centers once known as “legacy cites” were booming centers of commerce, only to have been exploited, polluted, and neglected. Many of these cities which are home to predominantly black and brown communities.
  • Joe James, Agri-Tech Producers (ATP): Using a patented Combined Remediation Biomass and Bio-Product Production (CRBBP) Process, ATP plants and then multi-tasks fast and large-growing Bio-Crops, to cost-effectively do good things, powered by sunlight, like capturing large amounts of CO 2, remediating air, soil and water, and then making circular economy bio-products from the harvested material, in which the captured carbon is sequestered.

CEEJH’s primary focus is to provide engagement to highly and differentially exposed populations and underserved communities and advances environmental justice by developing community-university partnerships with a focus on equitable planning, healthy zoning, and sustainable community development. Their work is critical in the wake of pressing regional, national, and global environmental justice and health issues that impact low-wealth Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) populations and communities. Learn more about CEEJH here


Open Call for Applications

We are still looking for founders to join our next two cohorts. If you are a founder working in Environmental Justice, please apply here today. 

Key Selection Criteria:

  • All are encouraged to apply, but we focus on Black, Latinx, and Indigenous founders
  • Our preference is for businesses in the early stages of development
  • Business must offer a tech-enabled green solution in the environmental justice, sustainability, or climate adaptation fields. 

© Envolve Εntrepreneurship.

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