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R/GA is offering pro bono creative and marketing services to BIPOC-owned startups

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By Sam Bradley | Senior Reporter

April 13, 2022 | 4 min read

Ad agency R/GA has launched a pro bono marketing service for businesses run by entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds in the US, UK, Brazil, Germany and Argentina.

The initiative, Make/Good for Businesses, offers startups run by Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and underrepresented entrepreneurs access to the agency’s marketing, digital and creative services free of charge.

Sean Lyons, global chief executive officer, said: ”The Make/Good for Businesses program allows us to offer our expertise for greater impact towards reducing racial inequalities and issues that underrepresented entrepreneurs and communities face. I’m incredibly proud of our commitment to address these issues by doing what we do best.”

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R/GA has launched a new pro bono service for underrepresented entrepreneurs / R/GA

The scheme is part of an effort to help close the racial wealth gap. Startups led by Black entrepreneurs in the US received just 1.2% of the venture capital invested in 2021, according to Crunchbase, while less than 1% of the investments made by the top 25 venture capital firms in America went to Latino-owned businesses.

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The policy was trialed in an 18-month pilot program between 2020 and 2021, involving 10 businesses in New York, Austin, London and Berlin. One of those businesses, German startup Founderland, was later awarded a $700,000 grant from Google.

Eligible businesses will be offered access to branding, marketing and digital strategy services, as well as time with R/GA strategists and technologists. Businesses can apply over the next two weeks.

Bayyina Black, R/GA’s global sustainability and impact director, said: “Owning a business is one of the most effective tools for closing the racial wealth gap for Black, Indigenous and people of color. While it takes many barriers to grow a business, BIPOC entrepreneurs still lack substantial access to services and resources and need more help to overcome these disparities.

”R/GAers from our global network have committed to providing their time and support to BIPOC entrepreneurs to have the best opportunity to build sustainable, long-term wealth. We will offer the group entrepreneurs in our communities the same services and resources we offer our clients while embedding sustainable practices and solutions internally and externally.”

Last year, Havas Media Group launched Havas Boost, an investment program targeting media and tech companies founded by people from underrepresented groups in the UK.

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