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Black+ Is Back! Vice Media Group Offers Black Entrepreneurs Free Marketing and Mentorship Opportunities

·2 min read

In collaboration with the National Urban League, Vice Media Group returns with its multi-year initiative, Black+, to provide Black entrepreneurs with free creative, marketing, and mentorship opportunities.

Launched last March, Black+ was created to alleviate the struggles of Black entrepreneurs who often faced a lack of access to funding amid the overwhelming toll of the pandemic, per Digiday.

The program returns for its second year, and its incentive is ambitious.

Only five businesses will be selected this year to reap the astounding benefits of pro-bono ad inventory (banner ads and pre-roll) valuing at $50,000 and editorial coverage across Vice, Refinery29 and i-D. The additional privileges include access to custom research via Vice Insights, creative and marketing consultation with VMG and its creative agency Virtue, and an ad customized by Virtue.

Last year, the program welcomed 12 businesses to participate. Offering more “one-on-one attention” this year, Nadja Bellan-White, global CMO of Vice Media Group, said “we need to really spend time with each and every one of the businesses, and they require a lot. My belief is quality is better than quantity.”

The National Urban League, a historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization, will be offering the selected businesses mentorship and business consulting services.

To apply, Black entrepreneurs are required to have businesses that are for-profit and at least 51% Black-owned. Businesses must have been in operation for more than 6 months and have a website for the selling or distributing of products or services throughout the U.S.

Alesia Miller, founder of Soul Brew Kombucha, talked about her experience last year. “It’s wonderful to have the resources, but as a business owner with little time, help with the execution of ideas and new information can prove as priceless,” according to Digiday.

Kenya Joseph, founder and owner of perfume and body care company Perfect Blue Alchemy, said Black+ provides “a better understanding in putting your own [marketing] plan together and the things that you need to know or think about. That was really, really helpful,” Joseph said.

Joseph added: “I almost wish we were doing this now because the landscape of small business has changed, with all the challenges we have in our country right now. It was such a great experience and being able to extend it or do it again would be hugely helpful.”

All applications are due by July 8th, 2022. Apply here.