NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Knot Worldwide—the largest global digital wedding planning company—today announces the launch of two new business initiatives to support diversity and allyship in the wedding industry.
Fellowship for Change is an eight-month intensive program that will provide career advancement opportunities for underrepresented wedding professionals in their first years of business. Created by WeddingPro—The Knot Worldwide’s B2B brand that connects small businesses nationwide with millions of engaged couples through The Knot and WeddingWire—Fellowship for Change will offer qualifying small business owners exclusive educational resources, mentorship opportunities with renowned wedding professionals, networking and financial support in the form of advertising on The Knot and WeddingWire.
Research shows only a small number of small business owners in underrepresented communities receive access to funding and education that will truly help them thrive. Based on data from the Brookings Institution, less than a third (29%) of Black-owned small businesses and only half (50%) of Latinx-owned small businesses that apply for business loans from large banks receive approval, while that approval number jumps to 60% for white small business applicants1.
“At The Knot Worldwide it has always been our priority to create an inclusive environment for all wedding professionals and engaged couples,” said Dhanusha Sivajee, chief marketing officer for The Knot Worldwide. “However, we recognize that inequality still exists within the world of weddings. We're committed to leveling the playing field by using our community and platform to provide education and active opportunities for allyship.”
Additionally, underrepresented wedding pros now have the option to identify their businesses within The Knot Marketplace and WeddingWire Vendor Directory using storefront badges and Diversity filters, including Asian-owned, Black-owned, Hispanic or Latinx-owned, LGBTQ+-owned, Native American-owned, Veteran-owned and Woman-owned. The filters will launch on The Knot and WeddingWire in February for couples to easily search and book wedding professionals.
As millennials and Gen Z are two of the most diverse, multicultural generations in history, allyship has become an important component of wedding planning for couples, even if they don’t identify as part of an underrepresented group. Based on couple feedback, the ability to search for and book wedding professionals who identify as one or more underrepresented groups is a growing wedding-planning priority. According to internal research, the majority of couples (55%) feel it's important to be able to search for wedding businesses that are Black-owned, and further qualitative research indicates strong interest in also seeking out an inclusive and diverse vendor team.
For more information about Fellowship for Change and to apply as a fellow or mentor, visit https://go.weddingpro.com/fellowship-for-change. The submission deadline for fellows and mentors is 11:59 p.m. ET on January 26th and Fellowship for Change will officially kick off for 30 fellows on March 1, 2021. Underrepresented professionals are defined as Black, African American, Hispanic, Latinx, Native American, Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian, Other Pacific Islander, LGBTQ+, woman-owned and veteran-owned. These communities were determined based on a combination of factors, including: demand from our couples and pros, US population breakdowns, and external research on diversity, equity and inclusion best practices.
The Knot Worldwide is a proud member of Open to All, the public education campaign focused on the longstanding principles that affirm when a business opens its doors to the public, it should be open to everyone on the same terms.
1.)Sifan Liu and Joseph Parilla, Businesses owned by women and minorities have grown. Will COVID-19 undo that?, Brookings Institution, April 14, 2020, brookings.edu.
About The Knot Worldwide
With over four decades of expertise in the wedding industry, The Knot Worldwide is the largest global wedding planning company. The Knot Worldwide helps couples plan every aspect of their weddings, from finding inspiration and local wedding professionals to creating and managing all guest experiences, wedding registries and more through The Knot, WeddingWire, Bodas.net, Hitched.co.uk, WeddingWire.in, WeddingWire.ca, Matrimonio.com, Mariages.net and other brands. Having inspired and empowered more than 40 million couples to plan a wedding that’s uniquely them, The Knot Worldwide provides leading wedding marketplaces, personalized wedding websites, planning tools and registry services with its brands in 16 countries across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia.
The Knot Worldwide also includes lifestyle brands The Bump for pregnancy and parenting, The Bash for bringing important celebrations to life with entertainment vendors, How They Asked for proposal inspiration and stories and more. The company has US offices in New York, New York; Washington, DC; Norwalk, Connecticut; Austin, Texas; Omaha, Nebraska; and Portland, Oregon; and international offices in Barcelona, Spain; Galway, Ireland; Guangzhou, China; Gurgaon, India; and London, England.