The energy group’s Racial Equity Capital Fund will run for the next three years and will supply equity and debt financing for minority-owned businesses.

US-based electric, gas and nuclear utility Exelon formed a $36m investment vehicle dubbed Racial Equity Capital Fund on Wednesday in a bid to back minority-owned companies.

The fund is set to invest in areas strategic to Exelon’s business through 2024, providing up to $1m in equity funding and between $100,000 and $300,000 in debt financing per company. It will be jointly run by the corporate’s non-profit arm, Exelon Foundation, and diversity-oriented investment firm RockCreek.

Exelon Utilities chief executive Calvin Butler said: “Too often, we see small, minority-owned businesses struggle to obtain financial backing to fuel their ideas and innovations, and that problem has only grown worse during the pandemic.

“With this fund, we can help minority job creators overcome barriers to their growth and success and ensure that the benefits of our post-pandemic economic recovery are shared more equitably.”

Exelon and Exelon Foundation already have a $20m Climate Change Investment Initiative in place, having chosen the first batch of investments for the scheme in July 2020.