NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fiverr International Ltd. (NYSE: FVRR), the company that is revolutionizing how the world works together, is announcing the accepted members of its second annual Future Collective for Black-Owned Businesses. The program, hosted in partnership with 1863 Ventures, an independent, Black-led nonprofit organization that delivers business development programs designed to bridge the gap between entrepreneurship and equality, aims to support Black entrepreneurs looking to take their businesses to the next level. Now in its second year, Fiverr is building upon the program’s original mission, doubling the number of accepted fellows for this year’s cohort and inviting them to join a lineage of participants that are evolving their businesses through Future Collective grants and community-driven programming.
While the number of Black-owned small businesses was 28% higher in the third quarter of 2021 than it was pre-pandemic, there’s still a long way to go: one Brookings Institution report estimates that 800,000 more Black-owned employer firms are needed to reach equity. Black founders are also denied financing more frequently than any other racial group. Data from the Federal Reserve found that roughly 80% of white companies receive a part of or entirety of the funding they seek. Minority-owned businesses receive the same result just 66% of the time.
“Launching the second iteration of Fiverr’s Future Collective presents an exciting opportunity for Fiverr to build upon the foundations it established in the program’s first year, and make bigger strides toward supporting underrepresented and marginalized entrepreneurs in pursuit of their business dreams,” said Micha Kaufman, CEO of Fiverr. “While meaningful progress has been made since we launched the program last year, there is still a lot more work to do. We are thrilled to be expanding the program by providing a new class of fellows with the tools to take their businesses to the next level and foster a community of diverse, talented entrepreneurs in the process.”
The ten businesses that have been selected as Fiverr’s 2023 class of Future Collective fellows are:
- Bailan – A purpose-driven food company that helps people create delicious meals and live healthier with foods that capture the rich flavors of Africa.
- Femigist – A purpose-driven feminine care brand that provides plant-powered menstrual management and feminine wellness products along with educational resources and supportive community.
- Flora and Noor – A skincare brand designed for those with melanin-rich skin and chronic skin conditions, offering halal certified, sustainable products.
- Look Good Live Well – A beauty-focused wellness brand offering clean, adaptogen-fueled products designed to heal and hydrate stressed-out skin.
- PPGJ Books – A publishing house and social enterprise that publishes, promotes, and distributes books that empower Black children to find joy in reading.
- Tiny Docs – An education platform providing an interactive experience designed to empower kids with age-appropriate information about various health-related issues without complex medical details and terminologies.
- Under Her Empire – A conscious, creative community and production house on a mission to decentralize media and entertainment by allowing consumers and brands to make socially impactful investments in the creators they love.
- Unoma Haus – A PropTech company creating a more sustainable and equitable future for housing and community building through two main verticals: modular homes and van conversions.
- Vontelle – An eyewear brand offering better-fitting vibrant, luxury frames in sizes that complement diverse faces; handcrafted to empower humanity to see the world through a cultural and global lens.
- Wasabi + Well – A wellness company founded to help Black women feel seen, heard, and healed through therapy, community, and courses.
Each of the 10 Future Collective fellows selected for this year’s cohort will receive $24K in funding from Fiverr through a combination of Fiverr credits and a cash grant, placement in an accelerator program delivered by 1863 Ventures and regular mentorship and guidance. The structure of the program will consist of core curriculum sessions, assigned online materials, and individual coaching. The fellows will also have access to a number of other resources including personalized service recommendations from Fiverr Customer Support Managers and fireside chats with Fiverr executives.
“Black entrepreneurs have made significant strides in the last two years. We must sustain momentum in the pursuit of economic parity for Black-owned businesses,” said Melissa Bradley, Managing Director of 1863 Ventures. “The Black-white wealth gap could cost the economy $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion per year by 2028. Equity by way of access to capital and sufficient business development counsel is a restorative process. We’re excited to be teaming up with Fiverr for a second year and double down on our efforts to uplift talented Black founders by providing the resources, programmatic support, and funding they need to grow and thrive.”
You can learn more about the 2023 Future Collective cohort and follow their journeys here.
Fiverr’s mission is to revolutionize how the world works together. We exist to democratize access to talent and to provide talent with access to opportunities so anyone can grow their business, brand, or dreams. From small businesses to Fortune 500, over 4 million customers worldwide worked with freelance talent on Fiverr in the past year, ensuring their workforces remain flexible, adaptive, and agile. With Fiverr’s Talent Cloud, companies can easily scale their teams from a talent pool of skilled professionals from over 160 countries across more than 550 categories, ranging from programming to 3D design, digital marketing to content creation, from video animation to architecture. Don’t get left behind – come be a part of the future of work by visiting fiverr.com, read our blog, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
About 1863 Ventures
1863 Ventures is an independent, Black-led national business development nonprofit and venture capital accelerator for New Majority founders (i.e., individuals who have been historically marginalized). The District of Columbia-based organization supports over 3,000 entrepreneurs across the United States, leveraging capital investments, owned-curricula, grant support, as well as corporate & philanthropic partnerships to scale businesses from high potential to high growth. Learn more at 1863ventures.net.