This Is How You Close the Black Entrepreneurship Gap

Vice Media Group and The National Urban League have launched Black+, a brand new initiative devoted to supporting Black entrepreneurs.

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Attention aspiring : Group and The National Urban League have teamed as much as launch Black+, an initiative devoted to supporting Black-owned companies and shutting the Black hole. You can apply right here for the likelihood to be one in every of the 12 companies that Black+ awards free advertising, artistic companies, and session. 

Nadja Bellan-White, Global CMO of VICE Media Group, and Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, defined the program to Entrepreneur and shared why its mission is so important.

Why is supporting Black entrepreneurs necessary now and the way did this all come collectively?

Nadja Bellan-White: African-American-owned companies have at all times – and nonetheless – face plain and systematic challenges in constructing and rising their companies. Elevating these companies is one thing that ought to at all times be a precedence and much more so now, recognizing the disproportionate affect COVID-19 has had, with many struggling to proceed their every day operations. We noticed this as a significant time to point out our continued dedication to our DEI observe not solely internally at VICE Media Group, however in the communities that we contact. As such, we reached out to Marc Morial and the National Urban League crew to accomplice with us on this program in an effort to shut the racial wealth hole by supporting African-American entrepreneurs.

Related: How Can You Truly Make a Difference for Black History Month?

What are you searching for from small companies?

Marc Morial: We are searching for small companies that may actually profit from the alternative, the mentorship and the consulting experience we are able to supply via the program. We hope the initiative is not going to simply assist the chosen companies generate gross sales and revenue, but additionally have a optimistic affect of their group.

A number of necessities we have now for the program are that the enterprise should be at the very least 51% Black-owned; that it’s for-profit and has been operational for greater than six months. They should even have a shoppable web site and the potential to promote and/or distribute its merchandise and/or companies all through the United States.

What are the prime 5 issues you might be searching for?  

Nadja Bellan-White: We encourage candidates to elucidate why they wish to be a part of the program and the way they consider collaborating on this program will help not solely their enterprise however maybe different entrepreneurs like them. We are searching for corporations who’re revolutionary and who’re discovering distinctive options to issues.

What will winners obtain?

Nadja Bellan-White: VICE Media Group and the National Urban League will present pro-bono advertising, artistic companies, consulting, mentorship, and enterprise session to the 12 chosen African-American-owned companies. VICE Media Group particularly will present free promoting throughout its owned and operated web sites together with VICE, Refinery29 and i-D. Vice Media Group and its artistic company Virtue can even seek the advice of with every enterprise on artistic companies akin to, however not restricted to, advertising materials creation, branding, and social media.

Related: 21 Inspiring Quotes From Black Leaders From Throughout American History

Marc Morial: The National Urban League will use its attain and community of Black-owned companies to assist present mentorship and consulting for the chosen corporations. We can even assist with the choice processes and construction of the program.

How can folks apply?

Nadja Bellan-White: You can apply by going to the web site to be taught extra about the program and fill out the utility. Black+ is a part of an annual and on-going partnership with the National Urban League and long-term dedication to the African-American group.  

If you can provide one common piece of recommendation to Black entrepreneurs what would it not be?

Marc Morial: I feel being resourceful is the finest piece of recommendation I might give younger Black entrepreneurs. We know that Black-owned companies usually don’t get the identical alternatives afforded to others. You might not get the identical loans or the identical funding, however that doesn’t imply you’ll be able to’t accomplish your objectives. Whether it’s free on-line courses, hiring interns, asking for recommendation from mentors or different enterprise house owners, you need to make the most of all the various kinds of alternatives that may offset any deficiency you may need in your individual enterprise. It’s why applications like this are so necessary to have in the Black group.  

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