The retailer is forging a unique partnership with Black-owned multimedia platform REVOLT to co-create a pitch competition series for Black entrepreneurs called ‘Bet on Black.’
The move deepens Target’s commitment to invest at least 5% of its annual media budget with Black-owned media while also increasing engagement with Black content creators, beginning in 2022.
The series co-created with REVOLT, premiers on REVOLT's digital platforms on January 10 at 9 p.m. EST and extends to all platforms starting January 11 at 9 p.m. EST.The program highlights 12 Black-owned startups — which continue to be underrepresented in venture funding — with innovative ideas to revolutionize a range of industries, from technology and entertainment to style, beauty and beyond.
In each episode, maverick investors and industry pioneers will listen to concepts from today's brightest Black entrepreneurs and identify the projects they believe will move the needle for Black culture and the community to receive funds. The series aims to invest in businesses that build communities, support social justice, and create lasting change, with one entrepreneur ultimately walking away with $200,000 in funding and mentorship from Target. Each episode will feature the business ideas of three innovative entrepreneurs working to revolutionize a range of industries – from technology and entertainment to style, beauty, and beyond.
The contestants will face four judges, including Target senior divisional of merchandising in Apparel & Accessories and former director of Multicultural Merchandise Melanie Gatewood-Hall, music artist T-Pain, costume designer Zerina Akers and radio personality and record producer DJ Envy. Pernell Cezar, founder of BLK & Bold and strategic advisor to Target Forward Founders, will serve as a coach for each startup. All in, Target’s providing $500,000 in funding for the startups without requiring any equity stakes so each company can retain full ownership and control of their business. Four finalists will get one-on-one meetings with a Target executive to provide additional mentorship as they grow.
Target says it has invested four times more with Black-owned media this year, with double the number of Black media partners, and has added more internal resources dedicated to supporting diverse media partnerships. The company has pledged to spend $2 billion with Black-owned businesses and increase the number of products from Black-owned businesses to more than 500 in stores and online by the end of 2025.
"Target has a long history of partnering with diverse media organizations to reach our guests, and we've committed to increasing our investments with Black-owned media companies and better supporting Black entrepreneurs," said Maurice Cooper, SVP of Brand and Category Marketing for Target. "We're proud of our groundbreaking partnership with REVOLT, which is unlocking inventive and impactful ways to connect with and bring joy to our guests. Our investment not only enables the creation of a must-see series, it will also fundamentally change the trajectory of deserving Black enterprises."