Afterpay, the global leader in “Buy Now, Pay Later” (BNPL) payments, announced its continued partnership with BrainTrust Founders Studio and the launch of a new partnership with the Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF). Together, these organizations will implement a give back program and other activities throughout the year to support Black-owned partners.
In recognition of Black History Month, the program will kick-off by giving consumers the opportunity to contribute $1 when they pay with Afterpay. Participating shoppers who ‘top-up’ will actively support Afterpay’s partner associations – BrainTrust Founders Studio to increase exclusive economic opportunities for Black beauty and wellness founders, and FSF’s Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund to foster equity for rising Black fashion students.
“I wanted to provide a scalable way to create parity and equity for Black Beauty and Wellness Founders by providing mentorship, education, community and capital through a global ecosystem and a trusted community,” said Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, Founder of BrainTrust Founders Studio. “We are grateful to Afterpay for supporting our mission to close the wealth gap and transform the economic landscape for Black founders by highlighting their companies and creating a space to showcase and celebrate their brands.”
“We are so pleased that Afterpay is supporting the Fashion Scholarship Fund’s ongoing commitment to provide scholarships, mentorships and career opportunities for Black students entering the fashion industry. Initiatives of this kind not only support Black entrepreneurial talent and businesses, but also help to pave the way for the next generation,” said Peter Arnold, Executive Director, Fashion Scholarship Fund.
Zahir Khoja, General Manager of North Americasaid: “During Black History Month, we honor the history and influence the Black community has contributed to the rich fabric of our culture. While we recognize there’s still more work to do to uplift this community, Afterpay is prioritizing our support for diverse businesses this month and all year-round. We are committed to actively learning and participating in this dialogue to champion our Black-owned partners.”
In addition to the ‘top-up’ program, Afterpay also unveiled the following actions to support ongoing DE&I commitments:
- Ongoing services provided by Afterpay to mentor the next generation of Black entrepreneurs at BrainTrust Founders Studio.
- Marketing promotions to connect more consumers to Afterpay Black-owned partners through preferential ad placements, cross-channel promotions and custom video series highlighting Black CEOs.
Since the beginning of 2021, Afterpay has welcomed 24% more Black-owned businesses to its Shopping App1. During the 2021 holiday season, more than half a million Afterpay customers purchased from Black and female-owned businesses2 – indicating shoppers’ continued preference for these businesses and brands.
For a list of Afterpay’s Black-owned partners, visit the dedicated Shopping App page here. To read more on Afterpay’s commitment to Black-owned businesses, visit the company’s social responsibility page here.
I have over 10 years of experience in the retail industry including expertise in marketing, operations, merchandising, buying, shopping and technology. I am a former senior managing director of The School of Retailing, University of Alberta. My education includes a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from The University of Alberta in Marketing, Certificate in Real Estate and a Diploma in Fashion Merchandising and Buying from LasSalle College, a Canadian private school founded in 1959 by fashion designer Jean-Paul Morin.