The 9-month executive-level program will shift capital to Black-led communications firms, while investing in their potential and growth.
ROCKVILLE, Md., Oct. 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Mission Partners, a social impact communications firm and Certified B Corporation announced today a new Social Entrepreneur in Residence program as part of the agency’s ongoing commitment to shift $2.5M to Black and women-led organizations by 2025. The Social Entrepreneur in Residence program specifically invests in Black entrepreneurs as they grow and scale their businesses and is aimed at addressing the racial disparity in communications agency ownership.
According to PRWeek’s 2020 Agency Business Report, only 8% of agency leadership identifies as Black, while 89.8% identifies as white. And, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Small Business Credit Survey: 2021 Report on Firms Owned by People of Color, “firms owned by people of color continue to face structural barriers in acquiring the capital, knowledge, and market access necessary for growth.”
“At Mission Partners, we believe communications is the greatest tool for social justice—and that extends to how we use our power, privilege, and advantage as a white-led communications firm,” noted Carrie Fox, founder and CEO of the firm. “By strategically investing in business owners, we can support a ripple effect of impact, that extends to that business owner’s family, their employees, and their community. Over time, we hope this program serves as a model for others in our sector.”
The Social Entrepreneur in Residence program is a nine-month application-based position, designed for entrepreneurs with less than five years of experience as an agency business owner. Throughout this residency, the entrepreneur will receive executive level coaching and financial support to grow and scale their company. In return, the Social Entrepreneur in Residence will provide skilled expertise in their respective area of focus to Mission Partners’ employees and clients.
Mission Partners’ inaugural Social Entrepreneur in Residence is Ryan Pintado-Vertner, a Chicago-based activist and strategic marketing impact expert with two decades of experience guiding Fortune-level brands, building startups, and leading nonprofit organizations. He is the CEO and founder of Smoketown, a boutique brand consultancy, where empathy, purpose, and vision are at the heart of his work. As the inaugural recipient of this Residency, Ryan will help shape the growth and future of the program and be involved in the selection of future awardees.
“It’s one thing to believe in myself as a startup founder. It’s quite another thing to have others believe in me, too, especially when those allies are backing it up with money, resources, and expertise that I can rely on. That’s what Mission Partners’ Social Entrepreneurship in Residence program means to me,” said Pintado-Vertner, who began his partnership with Mission Partners as the company’s first Entrepreneur in Residence in September 2022.
“Ryan is a purposeful leader who has developed an inspiring and highly effective approach to empathy-based marketing,” added Fox. “I am thrilled for this opportunity to support and invest in his growth, and in the growth of his agency, and I look forward to what our firms will be able to do together in the coming years.”
Applications for future years will open in 2023. Interested applicants can learn more and submit a letter of interest at www.Mission.Partners/Residency
Mission Partners is a woman-owned strategic communications firm and Certified B Corporation. With decades of experience in social impact communications, and working at the unique intersection of PR, policy, and philanthropy, we work side-by-side with organizations, as trusted partners and colleagues, along their journeys to build more equitable and just systems and communities. We use a full range of strategic communications– messaging, marketing, issues management and strategy building, to help advance our clients’ visions for the future. Since our founding in 2017, we’ve counseled hundreds of nonprofit organizations, foundations, and social impact organizations as well as the partners who fund and support their work, helping to ensure they are authentic in their words, equitable in their strategies, and intentional about their impact. Learn more at mission.partners
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SOURCE Mission Partners