Black Americans drink wine and spirits at the same rate as White Americans, however, they’re treated unequally in the liquor industry.
Dia Simms is changing that with Pronghorn.
Simms, the CEO of Lobos 1707, has teamed up with Erin Harris and Dan Sanborn to create Pronghorn, which will add diversity, equity, and inclusion to the alcohol industry while also generating wealth and driving acquisitions. Pronghorn will act as a business accelerator, making capital investments and providing assistance, industry-leading expertise, and resources to those interested.
Simms told Forbes the company is named after the second fastest land animal as a sign of its dedication and long-term goals
“A band is a term used to describe a group of pronghorn. Our business serves as a constant reminder that by working together, we can accomplish more. Our program is designed to have a positive impact on the ecosystem as a whole,” Simms said.
Simms, Harris, and Sanborn have previous experience in the liquor industry, working to grow Sean “Puffy” Combs Ciroc vodka brand. The Pronghorn team has a wealth of experience in branding, operations, content development, finance culture, and economics and plans to generate more than $2 billion in revenue for the Black community.
Between 2005 and 2021 the U.S. spirits industry generated more than $35 billion. In recent years, Black owned-companies have popped up across the country, including Uncle Nearest Whiskey and Du Nord Social Spirits, the first Black-owned distillery in the U.S.
Pronghorn is working to bring down barriers to access in the liquor industry, including access to capital by enabling entrepreneurship. They plan to achieve their goal within a decade by addressing the employment gap, building a successful talent pool, and partnering with HBCUs, Black business bureaus, and Black professional organizations to recruit and develop those interested in the field.
“We’re starting with the Black community and the spirits industry with the goal of systemizing and effectively diversifying an industry,” Simms said. “The parts of the discussion about economic engineering and entrepreneurship are the quietest when, in fact, I think they are the most critical. I believe they are the key to unlocking true equity. These are the necessary components for pro rider representation in 10 years, so that our community is represented equally on all sides of the spectrum, both as a consumer and with consumption, as well as in leadership at all levels, from intern to C-suite.”