Comcast recently announced it will award 13,000 Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned small businesses, which includes Hispanic and Asian American owned businesses among others, across the country with monetary grants, technology makeovers and marketing services from Comcast RISE by 2022.
Since November, nearly 2,500 entrepreneurs nationwide have been selected as Comcast RISE recipients, of which nearly 2,000 have received or will receive a TV campaign, production of a TV commercial or consulting services from Effectv, or computer equipment, internet, voice or cybersecurity from Comcast Business. Also, included are 500 businesses from Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston and Philadelphia that will each receive a $10,000 grant in May, from the Comcast RISE Investment Fund, for a total of $5 million awarded to date.
In addition, a critical component of Comcast RISE is to invest in ongoing mentorship and resources to help businesses succeed over the long-term. To do so, the program has partnered with Ureeka, an online platform for entrepreneurs, to provide grant recipients with business coaching to help build skills focusing on company foundation, growing customers and financial stability. All Comcast RISE recipients will also have a specialized online networking community within Ureeka with access to educational resources, sources of capital and vetted experts such as U.S. Black Chambers, National Asian Pacific Islander Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Association for Enterprise Opportunity, Walker’s Legacy and Operation Hope.
“Comcast RISE represents a holistic program that can help advance BIPOC entrepreneurs. The commitment to coaching, capital and connections is critical for historically overlooked communities in achieving economic prosperity,” said Melissa Bradley, Co-founder of Ureeka. “We are humbled and excited to partner on this program.”
Comcast RISE was formed in late 2020 to give BIPOC-owned small businesses, from bakeries and barber shops to childcare centers and cleaning services, the tools needed to not just survive, but thrive. The 2,500 recipients are from 422 cities across 34 states.
“The Comcast RISE Technology Makeover award is truly a game changer for us,” said Lois Arnold, owner of Hairs 2 U, a wig bank in Philadelphia that provides affordable wigs to women and children affected by hair loss. “Our redesigned website is giving us an upper edge with online marketing and awareness that will help drive both donors and customers in-need through our doors. And the new technology is allowing my staff to be so much more collaborative and efficient, which is vital during this pandemic.”
“When we launched Comcast RISE, we knew a profound need existed in many of the communities we serve. We now have seen firsthand how the program’s marketing and technology resources benefit the business owners who are working hard to rise above 2020, as well as their neighbors who share their commercial corridors, and their suppliers and customers up and down their resource chains,” said Teresa Ward-Maupin, SVP for Digital and Customer Experience at Comcast Business.
Comcast RISE, which stands for “Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment,” is part of an expanded Diversity, Equity and Inclusion commitment that Comcast announced last summer, as well as a coordinated cross-company effort to address digital inequities through sustainable programming and investments such as Internet Essentials and Lift Zones. Eligible businesses can apply for the following.
- Marketing Services: The following services from Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, and its creative agency, Mnemonic, are designed to help recipients with their marketing and media campaigns, including:
- Media: A linear TV media campaign to run over a 90-day period.
- Creative Production: Turnkey 30-second TV commercial production, plus a media strategy consultation and a 90-day linear TV media campaign.
- Consulting: Advertising and marketing consultations with local Effectv marketing, research and creative teams to gain insights on how to drive business.
- Technology Makeovers: The state-of-the-art equipment and technology upgrade from Comcast Business includes computer equipment as well as internet, voice and cybersecurity services for up to a 12-month period. (Taxes and other fees may still apply for tech makeover services.)
In addition, the Comcast RISE Investment Fund, as noted above, will provide $5 million in grants to BIPOC-owned small businesses in five cities. Also, a key part of Comcast RISE is ensuring sustainability for businesses beyond the marketing services and technology makeovers. As such, Comcast has invested more than $2 million already in more than 20 community-based organizations and diverse chambers of commerce to provide additional support to BIPOC-owned small businesses.
All small business owners can visit the Comcast RISE destination on Xfinity X1, which features aggregated small business news, resources, Comcast RISE recipient stories and more. The destination is designed to help businesses grow by empowering them through inspiration, education and entertainment. Just say “Comcast RISE” into the X1 voice remote.