Four agencies are uniting to form the Diversity Marketing Consortium (DMC), an effort to help offset systemic inequality for women and minority-led startups.
The agencies are public relations agency SourceCode Communications, employee experience agency Cheer Partners, influencer agency Social Studies, and performance marketing agency Superbolt.
In partnership with Harlem Capital (HCP), an early-stage venture capital firm committed to investing in underrepresented founders, the group will commit to a total of $1.5 million in pro bono marketing services to women and minority-led startups.
Each of the four partners will provide $375,000 in services over the two year initial term of this joint venture. This initiative syncs with HCP’s mission “to change the face of entrepreneurship by investing in 1,000 diverse founders over the next 20 years.”
It should be noted there are no monetary requirements and no money is exchanging hands between the agencies and HCP.
The recipient companies will include those in HCP's portfolio as well as other startups via an open call for applicants and HCP's pitch competition. The DMC, alongside Harlem Capital, will review the brands that submit and take brands through a traditional new business intake process.
The DMC will then distribute out work to the appropriate agency partners to scope out and execute as they would any other client. This scope of work outlining key performance indicators will be drafted and agreed upon between all parties. “We’re committed to delivering on our engagements to businesses with the same standards we hold with contracted clients,” says Greg Mondshein, Co-Founder, SourceCode Communications.
This partnership was formed during COVID-19 after these leaders realized minority and female companies were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Between February and April 2020, the number of women-owned businesses declined by 25% while the number of Black and Latinx-owned businesses decreased by 41% and 32%, respectively, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.
“While we were mapping out the who, what, how, when, and why, the world experienced the brutal murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and Black Lives Matter regained tremendous momentum,” says Mondshein. “As we all began to rally behind supporting and amplifying Black voices, we understood how much more relevant and important the DMC was going to be.”