TikTok has announced that it's now accepting applications for the next cohort of its 'Support Black Businesses' program, which aims to provide Black small business owners with critical skills training and resources to help them recover from the impacts of the pandemic.
As explained by TikTok:
"We recognize that small business owners are recovering and rebuilding after a year like no other and that Black-owned businesses have been disproportionately impacted. More than half of all Black-owned businesses saw their revenue drop during the pandemic compared to 37% of white-owned businesses."
Various research reports have indicated the same - minority-owned businesses, and in particular, Black-owned SMBs, have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Indeed, Facebook-commissioned research has also shown that Black-owned businesses closed at twice the rate of other small businesses over the past year.
Given this, TikTok has been working to provide more support, with a new Black Creatives program to foster talent, and a new online hub to provide Black business owners with support and education to help maximize sales, along with its Support Black Businesses funding initiative.
This next round of funding in the program comes in partnership with Vimeo, and will provide the chosen participants with the tools and resources they need to better advertise on digital platforms and drive sales.
"Participants in the program will benefit from $1000 in ad credits, roundtables with TikTok Creators, full access to Vimeo's Business tier tools to create, produce, host, share and stream pro-quality video and hands-on training, including a video creation workshop cohosted with Vimeo."
It's an interesting partnership, with TikTok focusing on short-form video content, and Vimeo taking on the longer-form elements. That could point to future collaborations and linkages, which could help TikTok better compete with YouTube and other video platforms by facilitating more opportunities and training tools across all video formats.
"TikTok's "BLXCK" employee resource group led efforts for TikTok to join TxO as a strategic partner and is working to amplify the success of founders TxO by unlocking access to the tools, resources, and network they need to transform their ideas into thriving enterprises."
The partnership will see TikTok executives dedicate their time and expertise to helping next-generation leaders, and will include exclusive access to training, marketing opportunities, and in-app creator showcases.
Given the stats, these are important initiatives for TikTok, and all platforms, as we push towards facilitating equal opportunity, and creating a situation where race plays no role in impacting business potential. That's an ambitious goal, and as we've seen over the last year, we still have a way to go on this front, but programs like this are an important step in addressing key areas of inequality, and lifting all businesses and creators up to the same stage.
Black-owned businesses who meet the eligibility criteria can apply for the next round of TikTok's Support Black Businesses program here, with finalists set to be named in July.