Pinterest launches Black Gold Accelerator Programme

Applications are now open for the programme, which will serve to nurture and amplify black-owned businesses and creators on the platform.

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As part of a stated commitment to become the most inclusive social media platform, Pinterest, the global image-sharing and social media platform, has launched its very first Black Gold Accelerator Programme.

The scheme has been designed to help black-owned businesses and creators grow their audience following a difficult year for SMEs caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Social media platforms are a favourite method of marketing for small business owners. They’re typically low-cost, quick to use, and great for targeting a large consumer base. According to Pinterest, over 400 million people use the app each month.

Additional benefits for those accepted onto the programme, which will run in January 2022, include a budget towards online ads on the platform, and office space at Somerset House in central London. Applications will be accepted until 30 November 2021.

What does the programme offer successful applicants?

Those who are selected to take part in the programme will receive:

  • £5,000 towards Pinterest ads
  • Masterclasses from business leaders of established start-ups and household names across food & drink, interiors, fashion and beauty and more
  • Office space at Somerset House
  • Access to a network of like-minded founders and creators
  • Access to dedicated 1-1 business mentors, industry specialists in their field.

Supporting the programme is Steven Bartlett, founder of The Social Chain, who was recently ranked on the power list of most influential Black Britons. He is also soon to be the youngest ever Dragon's Den investor.

Commenting on the Black Gold Accelerator programme, Bartlett said: “I'm proud to use my platform to bring more black-owned businesses to a mainstream audience and hear why others find them inspirational. The launch of the Black Gold Accelerator from Pinterest is exactly the type of initiative we need to see more of.

“For the short term, it’s inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs, it’s making them visible and putting exciting black-owned businesses in front of investors. But, in the long term it’s unlocking funding that allows them to scale and turn the tables of generational wealth and systemic inequality.”

How will the winning applicants be chosen?

Those that apply to Pinterest’s Black Gold Accelerator Programme will be selected based on:

  • Their potential to scale their business
  • Showcasing pre-existing evidence of product sales
  • Proof that their product is purpose driven or sits within food & drink, fashion, home and interiors, beauty or health and wellbeing

The scheme will run for three months with dedicated support and will aim to get businesses investment-ready.

At the end of the programme, the attendees will pitch to angel investors on “demo-day” – empowering them to reach the next stage of their business plan.

Belinda Boakye, marketer at Pinterest said: “As an inclusive platform, we have an opportunity and responsibility to increase representation, in the products we build, how we support our creators and the brands we work with.

“That is why we are excited to be supporting black-owned businesses, alongside our partners Cornerstone Partners, Mentor Black Business and Somerset House, to help them reach a wider audience, accelerate their growth, and get investment-ready”.

Applications are now open and close November 30th. For businesses wanting to apply or for further information, head to the application page.

Want to know how Pinterest might fit into your social media strategy? Read our guide to using Pinterest as a small business to learn more.

Helena is from Yorkshire and joined Startups in 2021 from a background in B2B communications. She has previously written for a popular fintech startup covering everything from money-saving tips to cultural reviews.

She is particularly interested in project management software and the films of Peter Jackson.

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