SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Blavity.org is a new racial equity and social impact organization created by the founders of Blavity, Inc., the leading global media company created by and for Black Millennials and Gen-Z. This start-up turned Silicon Valley success story made headlines when it became one of the few Black-owned companies to raise more than $12 million in venture capital. Now the company has set its sights on helping others do the same.
Black Americans have never had an equal ability to reap the benefits of business ownership. While about 15% of white Americans hold some business equity, approximately five percent of Black Americans do. Among those with business equity, the average Black American’s business equity is worth about half of the average American’s and a third of the average white American’s1. Blavity.org understands the need to drive, support and amplify Black economic achievement and mobility. This unfortunate disadvantage fueled Blavity’s founders Morgan DeBaun, Jeff Nelson and Aaron Samuels to establish a nonprofit organization aimed at directly impacting the success of minority-owned businesses.
“At Blavity we have always been focused on giving back to our community, and with Blavity.org we are directly supporting other entrepreneurs, like us, who need sponsorship,” said Jeff Nelson, Blavity, Inc. Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer. “I believe strongly in paying it forward and want to invoke the lessons we learned on our own journey. Plus, playing the role of connector for these entrepreneurs can put minority-owned business leaders on a path to greater equity. Our Growth Fellowship program will give entrepreneurs the tools and resources needed to scale their businesses, navigate the world of funding opportunities and develop actionable strategies to drive long-term wealth and sustainability.”
This month Blavity.org is launching its first fellowship program accelerating the success of Black entrepreneurs. The Blavity.org Growth Fellowship is a six-month program that focuses on scaling teams, operations and systems to a select group of Black entrepreneurs through advising, grants, business tools and sponsorship from industry leaders. Each fellow will receive a $10,000 non-dilutive grant, free technology and will be assigned a sponsor for the duration of the program. These resources are provided by corporate partners and sponsors, including launch partners Adidas and Logitech.
Twelve fellows across three categories were chosen to participate in 2021. The categories from which these fellows will be selected are: Creatives (journalists, artists and storytellers); Start-ups (venture backed pre-seed stage startups); and Product and Retail (including apparel). The Growth Fellowship program will run twice a year and impact at least 24 entrepreneurs per year, eventually scaling to 60 fellows by 2023.
- Hardy McQueen, FanBase Africa: An NFT enabled merch company supporting musicians, festivals and more.
- Patrick Boateng II, Ceylon: A way to give men of color great skincare products suitable for their basic needs.
- Nicole Kearney, Sip and Share Wines: A boutique winery producing a diversity of handcrafted vegan wines.
- Samara Walker, Àuda.B: A luxury nail lacquer company that is fully vegan, safe for pregnant women and children and non-toxic.
- Michael Lloyd, Num Num Sauce: A southern-style grilling and dipping sauce using technology to create healthy condiments.
- Jehron Petty, ColorStack.org: A community-based, academic support and career development program for racially underrepresented college students.
- Darrian Mikell, Qualifi: A recruiter’s tool to go from screening & scheduling candidates one-by-one to interviewing 30-40 in the matter of 1 afternoon with ease.
- Erica Davis, TheSip.com: A fun and easy destination for drinks for millennial women.
- Paris Alexandra and Alicia Ferguson, BK Yoga Club: A Black women-owned body positive yoga studio taking up space in the wellness industry.
- Jamil Karriem, Hiki: A friendship and dating mobile app for the Autistic community.
- Gahmya Drummond-Bey, kidyouniversity: A platform with the aim to create beautiful high-quality materials that not only include our children but center them.
- Dave Brown, Indie Night Film Festival: A film festival that provides a platform for exposure, networking, promotion and elevation of aspiring and established Hollywood creatives.
The fellowship offers coaching for these entrepreneurs on topics such as executive leadership. It delivers technical and digital skills such as data analysis, marketing, pricing and hiring. For more information, head to Blavity.org or visit the new Instagram page at @blavitydotorg.
Blavity.org is a new racial equity and social impact organization created by the founders of Blavity, Inc.: Morgan DeBaun, Aaron Samuels, and Jeff Nelson. Blavity.org is a nonprofit aiming to drive Black economic advancement forward through entrepreneurial fellowship programs featuring grants, education, and sponsorship. A groundbreaking social-cause organization, Blavity.org has been created by Blavity, Inc., the leading global media company created by and for Black Millennials and Gen Z. Blavity.org was built to further Blavity, Inc.’s social impact through the development of digital programs designed to advance economic progress and racial equity for Black entrepreneurs. Blavity.org understands the need to drive, support, and amplify Black economic achievement and mobility.
About Blavity, Inc.
Blavity, Inc. is a venture-funded technology and news media company, founded in 2014 around a simple idea: enable Black millennials to tell their own stories. Today, Blavity is home to the largest network of platforms and lifestyle brands serving the multifaceted lives of Black millennials & Gen-Z through original content, video, and unique experiences. The Blavity, Inc. founders met in college and from there Blavity, Inc., was born creating an unapologetically Black digital media company inspired by the dawn of Black Lives Matter. As the Black Lives Matter movement has grown into a worldwide conversation that can’t be ignored, Blavity, Inc. has developed in parallel. The founders used the term “Blavity” (Black & gravity) to describe the force that attracts people and fuels their conversations.