business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  Amazon yesterday announced the creation of what it is calling Amazon Catalytic Capital, described as "a new initiative to invest $150 million in venture capital (VC) funds, accelerators, incubators, and venture studios that provide funding to entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds, primarily at the pre-seed/seed stage of venture capital funding. The company will invest in funds that focus on Black, Latino, Indigenous, women, and LGBTQIA+ founders. Amazon expects to support more than 10 funds and over 200 companies through the next year … In addition to capital, the companies in the funds’ portfolios will receive mentorship from Amazon executives and gain access to resources to support their business and technical strategy. Amazon teams will also work with the startups to identify partnership and product collaboration opportunities that could accelerate their growth."

Excellent idea, which has the advantage of being good for "entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds" who often don't have access to capital, as well as being positive for Amazon's image, which is important at a time when the company is under fire from legislators and regulators.


•  Amazon has announced "that it is hiring 150,000 employees throughout the U.S. in full-time, seasonal, and part-time roles across its operations network. A diverse range of roles—from packing and picking to sorting and shipping—are available to applicants from all backgrounds and experience levels. Employees can earn, on average, more than $19 per hour based on position and location in the US … Jobs in Amazon’s operations network include stowing, picking, packing, sorting, shipping customer orders, and more, and are available in hundreds of cities and towns across America. These roles can be the start of a long-term career inside or outside the company. The flexibility of the jobs available come with a wide range of hours—full- and part-time—and excellent pay and benefits. Sign-on bonuses ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 are available in select locations."