Snapchat launches program to help small businesses grow


Elizabeth McLaughlin, Editor


Snapchat launches 523, a content accelerator program for minority-owned small businesses..

Do you know of any small, minority-owned businesses? Snapchat is looking for underprivileged entrepreneurs to be part of their 523 program, which will provide successful applicants with $10,000 each month to create content for Snapchat’s Discover section.

The name “523” pays homage to the original office location of Snapchat, Inc. at 523 Ocean Front Walk in Venice Beach, California. The goal is to provide platforms to small businesses run by people from underrepresented groups, defined by Snapchat as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, veterans, those with disabilities, and/or women. On top of that, the business cannot have netted more than $5 million in gross revenue for FY 2021 or during the last 12 months. The last qualifier is that any hopeful business cannot have more than 20 full-time employees.

Snapchat’s goal is to help “these creative minds… see the equitable benefits from their impact” by providing them with ample resources, both financial and social. On top of the $10k/month stipends, select business owners will also work with the company’s media and content partnership team; they will also have access to workshops and networking events with 523’s sponsors, which include AT&T, Nissan, Target, State Farm, Unilever, Uber Eats and McDonalds. “We’ll double down on our efforts to make sure that everyone feels that they belong on our platform… creating diverse, accurate content that reflects a rich variety of views across our global community,” Snapchat stated in their 2021 Citizen Report.

On one hand, this effort is aimed at the goal of supporting underprivileged businesses and creators who have lacked the resources and platforms to grow their businesses. On the other hand, this effort promotes Snap’s Discover service, a feature that contends with the likes of TikTok and Instagram Reels. Snapchat describes Discover as “the fastest way for our Snapchatters to be informed, entertained, and learn about the world around them.” Moreover, it “is a monetizable environment that supports our partners as they build their business.

Snapchat isn’t the only company with a program like this. In November, TikTok announced plans to offer $50,000 grants to 10 black creators. They are partnering with a company called MACRO “to ensure Black creatives and artists have the resources they need to reach new heights in their careers and spearhead innovation in their respective industries,” according to TikTok’s director of creator community, Kudzi Chikumbu. YouTube, Facebook, and Triller have launched similar programs.
Applications are open from now until February 1, 2022. Selected small businesses will be announced on March 1. If you know of any small businesses who might benefit from partnering up with Snapchat, send them this article and they may be in the running for a $10k/month stipend.

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