Virginia Minority Cannabis Coalition Launches Bootcamp for Entrepreneurial Hopefuls Nations Birthplace OutBuro lgbt professional entreprenuer networking online community gay lesbian queer

Virginia Minority Cannabis Coalition Launches Bootcamp for Entrepreneurial Hopefuls in the Nation’s Birthplace

Training to Prepare Those Most Impacted by Cannabis Prohibition Pursue Opportunities in the Newest Industry Coming to Virginia

RICHMOND, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#BIPOCVirginia Minority Cannabis Coalition (VMCC), a Virginia-based nonprofit organization that empowers Black and Brown communities to become shareholders in the cannabis industry, has opened applications for its virtual ‘Fall 2021 Cannabis Entrepreneur Boot Camp.’ The four-week boot camp will start on Saturday, November 6, 2021, and provides entrepreneurs an accelerated leg-up in what will be one of the newest and most exciting industries in Virginia.

“The cannabis industry has made a lot of promises of righting the wrongs of past for communities of color, and with this boot camp, we are helping ensure those promises come to fruition,” said VMCC Founder Paul McLean. “VMCC is made up of small business owners in Virginia who want to see people, families, and communities of color create generational wealth with cannabis. We think we can help entrepreneurs turn their ideas and dreams into real cannabis businesses that can create positive change in their communities.”

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The boot camp provides:

  • a step-by-step playbook to create a successful business plan,
  • connections to help run your business,
  • support to finance your new business, and most importantly
  • a community support network of like-minded people.

The boot camp is meant for someone who:

  • has been impacted by a cannabis arrest or conviction,
  • is directly related to someone who has had cannabis-related justice involvement,
  • has spent 3 of the last 5 years in an area with high unemployment levels, low-income levels, and/or high poverty,
  • has graduated from a historically black college or university (HBCU) located in the Commonwealth,
  • has been in the legacy market and wants a legal business, or
  • wants to start their own business.

Applications can be submitted on a rolling basis at Fall 2021 Cannabis Entrepreneur Boot Camp.

About Virginia Minority Cannabis Coalition (VMCC)

The Virginia Minority Cannabis Coalition (VMCC), headquartered in Newport News, is a pioneering 501(c)4 nonprofit organization founded in 2021 that empowers Black and Brown communities to become shareholders in the cannabis industry. The company promotes economic empowerment through equitable ownership, employment, and purposeful reallocation of tax revenue in all sectors of Virginia’s regulated cannabis industry. The Virginia Minority Cannabis Coalition offers cannabis industry educational boot camps for entrepreneurs most impacted by the war on drugs. For more information, visit http://vmccequity.org.


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Influencer Marketing Leader, Captiv8, Aims to Help Diversify Industry by Launching DEI Initiatives Including Grant Which Offers Pro-Bono Services to BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ Small Businesses

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, leading influencer marketing company, Captiv8, is announcing its public pledge to help Cr8 Change through programs such as a grant for minority-owned SMBs as well as mindful product updates with the goal of taking concrete, small steps to help lead greater DEI momentum and progress within the influencer marketing industry.

Influence Change Grant: applications are now open for Captiv8’s inaugural Influence Change Grant, which is designed to be a twice-yearly SaaS grant to support BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ owned small- to mid-sized businesses who are positively impacting their communities. Those selected will be provided free access to Captiv8’s SaaS influencer marketing platform, including discovery, workflow, intelligence, insights and measurement capabilities, as well as dedicated hours for strategic consulting with a team of in-house experts. In order to qualify, applicants must also meet the following criteria: be located in the United States, be non-for-profit or be a for-profit business with less than $10 million in annual revenue. The first deadline to submit is October 29, 2021, with the first recipients to be announced in December of this year. Captiv8 is currently dedicating over a half of a million dollars of value to this program to help support 10 companies in 2022.

Mindful Product Mapping: Captiv8 is also building features directly into its platform to encourage creator representation through expanded gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation identification options. This will allow creators to self-identify in the most representative manner, and allow brands to partner with creators to diversify initiatives.

“The last few years have made it apparent that there is a need now more than ever for a culturally diverse and representative landscape in the influencer marketing industry. We know this change cannot happen overnight, but we want to make sure we’re dedicating ourselves to taking the right steps to ensure we’re making a positive impact for both creators, and the brands we work with,” said Krishna Subramanian, CEO, Captiv8. “Ultimately, we know that small steps lead to significant progress over time. As a minority-owned company ourselves, we have built our own foundation upon the diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, genders and excellence of our employees, and we want to help lay a similar, inclusive, foundation in others.”

Captiv8, itself, is a minority-owned company, with nearly 70 percent of the team identifying as BIPOC. Diversity extends to the highest levels, with 1 in 2 of its leadership team also identifying as BIPOC.

Those interested in learning more or applying for the Influence Change grant can visit here.

About Captiv8:
Captiv8 is a full service influencer marketing solution that redefines end-to-end, inspiring you to think bigger, enabling you to plan smarter and empowering you to execute better. Through our intuitive workflow, brands can uncover actionable insights on trends, discover and vet influencers, seamlessly activate campaigns at scale, amplify branded content across the digital ecosystem, and prove business impact through our measurement dashboard. Our platform gives you the tools you need to build relationships and effective content, while our teams lend experiences and strategic services to steer you clear of common influencer marketing pitfalls.

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SOURCE Captiv8


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Thumbtack Releases 10th Annual Small Business Friendliness Survey

Maine, New Hampshire, and South Carolina receive “A+” rating on their support of local businesses

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Thumbtack, the modern home management platform, announced results from its 2021 Small Business Friendliness Survey. More than 3,600 small business owners in the home maintenance and construction industries (42 percent) as well as events, lessons, and business services, evaluated federal, state, and local governments. In its tenth year, 44 cities and 43 states received grades from “A+” to “F” on overall small business friendliness, regulations, taxes, and training opportunities.

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“The way local professionals have adapted during the pandemic through adoption of digital tools and new safety protocols shows the strength and resilience of service businesses across the country,” said Andrew Heritage, Lead Economist at Thumbtack. “We’re seeing increased optimism among business owners compared to pre-pandemic levels, but want to acknowledge the near future remains uncertain due to new variants.”

State, federal and city rankings

Maine received the highest state ranking with an “A+” followed by New Hampshire “A+,” South Carolina “A+,” Florida “A,” and Georgia “A-.” While Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Oregon, and Michigan received the lowest scores with an “F.” In comparison, service providers gave the federal government a neutral score with a “C+.”

On a city level, the top scoring cities on the small business friendliness scale were Jacksonville, FL “A+,” Salt Lake City, UT “A+,” Orlando, FL “A,” Baltimore, MD “A,” and Seattle, WA “A-.” The lowest scoring cities were Detroit, MI, San Diego, CA, Nashville, TN, and Kansas City, MO, all receiving an “F.”

In addition to overall grades, Thumbtack also ranked states on their support of women-owned and BIPOC-owned businesses. Maryland came in first place with an “A+” as the most supportive state for women-owned businesses and Virginia ranked as the most supportive state for BIPOC owned businesses with an “A+.”

Economic opportunities and challenges

Nationwide, 87 percent of service providers, including women and BIPOC business owners, believe there’s enough economic opportunity in their community for their business to thrive. Up 11 percentage points from 2019, this finding shows increased optimism compared to pre-pandemic levels. And while 41 percent of respondents report generating more revenue in the first half of 2021 than the year prior, challenges remain. Across the board, the costs of operating a business are the biggest roadblock: 33 percent want policymakers to improve access to healthcare/insurance benefits and 45 percent want their tax burden lowered. Additionally, this year, the shortage of qualified labor intensified: 23 percent of businesses reported difficulty hiring with home construction reporting the most difficulty (40 percent).

Communities rally around small businesses

To capture how Americans are supporting their communities, Thumbtack commissioned an additional new Small Business Support survey of 1,150 Americans. Looking to the future, service businesses aren’t the only ones feeling more optimistic, 94 percent of homeowners said they’re comfortable having a professional work inside their home. Additionally, communities around the country rallied to support their local businesses over the last year. Americans gave larger tips (75 percent), made donations (36 percent) and continued paying providers even if they were not receiving services (22 percent).

For complete results, please visit our interactive survey visualization: https://www.thumbtack.com/survey or check out our blog.

2021 Small Business Friendliness Survey Methodology

In a survey of Thumbtack professionals, 3,648 responses were collected nationwide from 6/7/2021 to 7/26/2021 with a margin of error of +/- 2 percent. A sufficient sample size was collected to grade 43 states and 44 metropolitan areas. The eight graded metrics evaluate: overall government support, ease of starting a business, ease of hiring employees, labor regulation, tax regulation, licensing regulation, and training and networking programs availability and helpfulness. Thumbtack’s Small Business Friendliness Survey represents the largest continuous study in the U.S. of small business perceptions in the local services industry on government policy.

About Thumbtack

Thumbtack is a technology leader building the modern home management platform. Through the Thumbtack app, homeowners can effortlessly manage their homes — confidently knowing what to do, when to do it, and who to hire. Bringing the $500 billion home services industry online, Thumbtack empowers millions of homeowners to fix, maintain, and improve their most valuable asset. Hundreds of thousands of local service professionals, from painters and plumbers to photographers and math tutors, use the Thumbtack platform to grow their business each year.


Mally Fox