Black Whiskey Entrepreneur Will Help Bankroll Others Like Her

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Uncle Dearest

CEO of Black-Owned Whiskey Distiller Launches Fund to Help Other African-Americans In Spirits Industry ‘Build Generational Wealth’

Fawn Weaver is the Black woman behind one of the most awarded whiskey brands in America, Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, as well as the person funding the change to make the spirits industry more inclusive one business at a time.

Weaver entered the industry in 2017 when she founded the company as an homage to Nathan “Nearest” Green, the Black master distiller who taught Jack Daniels the trade but until four years ago remained widely unknown. Now, with more than 1.5 million bottles of the award-winning whiskey sold, Weaver is making sure other Black distillers can claim their stake in the industry.

With $50 million in capitalization thus far in the Uncle Nearest Venture Fund, Weaver will invest in brands that would otherwise not have the capital or reach to leave their mark on the white male-dominated industry. Weaver hopes a seed of $2 million each will help the next iterations of Uncle Nearest do just that.

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“What that means to me is, they are not building to flip, they’re not building to sell. They’re building to create generational wealth,” said Weaver to The New York Times.

Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey founder and CEO Fawn Weaver

With $50 million in capitalization thus far in the Uncle Nearest Venture Fund, Weaver will invest in brands that would otherwise not have the capital or reach to leave their mark on the white male-dominated industry. Weaver hopes a seed of $2 million each will help the next iterations of Uncle Nearest do just that.

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“What that means to me is, they are not building to flip, they’re not building to sell. They’re building to create generational wealth,” said Weaver to The New York Times.

The fund, which was announced on the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, will help women and people of color, but spirit brands that are Black-owned will be the investment priority. Fifty percent of investors are Black, including the privately-owned Uncle Nearest. Others who are interested in investing will have until the end of June to do so.

According to “The Spirits Business,” the top-selling whiskeys are Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, and Jameson — all named after white men. The industry is difficult to break into, but for people of color, lack of funding is the top issue, followed closely behind by the lack of connections to key industry players.

“It’s not that people of color don’t have an interest,” said Margie A.S. Lehrman, chief executive of the American Craft Spirits Association. “It’s that we find that they have no path of entry into the industry, no connections where others may.” She added, “It’s a very, very tough industry to break into, and if you’re a woman or a person of color, it’s even harder.”AMIBC® - VOTE! BE COUNTED! BE HEARD!

SOURCE ⇒ ATLANTABLACKSTAR


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