Havas Media Group has today opened its Havas Boost programme for applications.
Spearheaded by Gerald Appau-Bonsu alongside his colleagues within Havas Media Group’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, Havas Boost seeks to address the lack of funding and support available to start-ups founded by underrepresented groups.
The initiative provides investment and support to emerging media and tech start-ups founded by groups which are traditionally less likely to receive funding, with an initial focus on Black, Asian and minority ethnic-owned businesses, as part of Havas Media Group’s ongoing efforts to make a meaningful difference to brands, businesses and people.
Despite the fact that Black, Asian and minority-ethnic businesses are more innovative than their white-owned counterparts (with 30% engaging in new product or service innovations as compared to 19%), only 1.7% of all UK venture capital funding currently goes to minority-owned businesses.
Havas Media Group is inviting Black, Asian and minority-ethnic entrepreneurs to apply to Havas Boost, for the opportunity to receive up to £150,000 worth of resource, split between cash, media spend and facilities (with free rent for storage and/or office space).
To support the launch, Havas London has developed a new Havas Boost logo and brand identity, with a bright, optimistic colour palette to reflect the diverse range of people the programme will help. In the new logo, the ‘t’ in ‘Boost’ is represented by a slightly elevated arrow, to demonstrate the lift and energy that the programme aims to bring to start-ups founded by underrepresented groups.
Havas Boost has been developed in partnership with investment management specialist CEG Investment Group, which was also co-founded by Appau-Bonsu, and will act as investment managers for the programme.
The independent vetting process for Havas Boost will be conducted by Acorn Business Consultancy.
Anyone interested in applying to the programme should visit havasboost.com. Applications must be submitted by the 28th February 2022.
Gerald Appau-Bonsu, founder of Havas Boost, Havas Media Group, said: “It’s so exciting to see many months of work come to fruition with the launch of Havas Boost.
“The stats around funding for Black, Asian and minority ethnic-owned businesses are shocking, so we’re really proud to be doing something positive to change the status quo and ensure that innovative new start-ups in the tech and media space are not being overlooked simply because of their founders’ ethnic backgrounds.”
Patrick Affleck, CEO, Havas Media Group, added: “I’m thrilled to see Havas Boost launching today after months of planning. Through this programme we hope to create more of a level playing field when it comes to start-up investment, ensuring that businesses owned and operated by underrepresented groups receive the same levels of funding and support to grow and thrive.
“We're really looking forward to partnering with the first raft of start-ups as we embark on this journey together."