As part of Black Business Month, which is celebrated in August, TikTok has announced that it’s now accepting applications for the third round of its ‘Support Black Businesses’ accelerator program, which aims to help Black-owned businesses thrive on the platform via exclusive access to support resources, education, and networking opportunities.
As explained by TikTok:
“The third round of Support Black Businesses builds on the program we launched in 2020 to provide the tools and resources to help Black businesses, creators, and entrepreneurs achieve success. During the four-week virtual training, selected participants will receive exclusive access to business resources and benefits and join a community of like-minded founders and owners to connect, support, learn, and uplift one another.”
That could provide a key lifeline for the selected brands, and may well end up being a transformative experience in helping them maximize exposure via the app.
Black-owned businesses have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, with research showing that Black-owned brands were forced to close at twice the rate of other SMBs at the peak of the crisis. TikTok itself has also faced criticism over the way in which it’s used Black creators, without providing adequate credit, which is another part of why it’s now looking to expand its efforts to offer assistance where it can.
And given that TikTok is the app of the moment, it’s no doubt going to be a big focus for many heading into the holiday season - and as such, this new support initiative could be a big focus for many brands.
“Beginning today, August 8th, Black-owned businesses who meet the eligibility criteria are invited to apply for the next cohort. Finalists will be notified in early September, and the program will begin on September 12th.”
Throughout August, TikTok says that it will also celebrate and highlight Black-owned businesses on the platform, via the hashtag #BlackOwnedBusiness.
If you’re operating a Black-owned business in the US, you can apply to take part in the program here.