Head of Business Growth & Entrepreneurship
and Financial Health & Wealth Creation
Advancing Black Pathways
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
New York, N.Y.
A traumatic event sparked Tosh Ernest’s career in finance. “When I was growing up, my parents owned a hotel that seemed successful,” recalls Ernest, who moved to the U.S. 11 years ago from London. “One day, we came home from school and the hotel had shut down. We moved to one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. We were pulled out of private school and sent to public school. All of a sudden, there was no home, no savings, no college fund.” The incident made Ernest want to understand the ins and outs of the business, the world of finance, and financial inequality.
With a bachelor’s degree in accounting and management from the University of Reading, England, she made it her life’s mission to educate the Black community about finances. Her work at JPMorgan Chase & Co., leading Business Growth and Entrepreneurship and Financial Health and Wealth creation for the Advancing Black Pathways (ABP) strategy aligns with that mission.
ABP was launched in 2018 to bridge the racial wealth gap. “One of our goals is to be part of the solution in removing structural barriers for Black businesses,” shares Ernest. “Black entrepreneurs have faced barriers to accessing capital from banks. These barriers prevent them from growing and scaling their businesses.”
She added, “We launched a $30 billion five-year commitment focused on advancing racial equity and building diversity, equity, and inclusion into how we do business.” The company will promote and expand affordable housing and homeownership for Black people, as well as grow Black-owned businesses and spend more with Black suppliers. “Black businesses are the key to economic health in the Black community,” notes Ernest. “We have also announced 15,000 loans in small businesses in Black and Latinx communities over five years,” says Ernest. “Closing the wealth gap is not a Black problem. It’s an American problem.”