December 2, 2021

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Havas Media launches scheme to fund start-ups founded by BAME and minority people

Havas Media launches scheme to fund start-ups founded by BAME and minority people
Havas Media Group is launching a programme dubbed Havas Boost, which will invest in media and tech start-ups founded by people from underrepresented groups.While the plan is ultimately to focus on business owners from across all underrepresented groups, Havas Boost will initially concentrate on black, Asian, and minority ethnic-owned businesses. Havas Media said it will…

Havas Media Group is launching a programme dubbed Havas Boost, which will invest in media and tech start-ups founded by people from underrepresented groups.

While the plan is ultimately to focus on business owners from across all underrepresented groups, Havas Boost will initially concentrate on black, Asian, and minority ethnic-owned businesses. Havas Media said it will contribute £150,000 to an initial investment round, money that will be deployed as cash, marketing budget, media spend and facilities such as office space. Up to five companies will be supported in this debut round.

The venture is being led by Havas Boost founder Gerald Appau-Bonsu, who has developed the scheme and will work with colleagues from Havas Media’s diversity, equity and inclusion committee.

The programme has been developed in partnership with CEG Investment Group, which was co-founded by Appau-Bonsu and will handle investment management for businesses it opts to support.

The first round of funding will target start-ups owned by people from BAME backgrounds.

Applications for financial backing will be open from January 2022. Any business owner interested in applying should email register@havasboost.com.

Appau-Bonsu said: Havas Boost is a pledge from Havas Media Group to be the positive change we want to see in the world. I have been committing my own resources to helping others on a much smaller scale for a while now, so I know that this programme is going to have such a meaningful impact on the businesses chosen and in turn the community and industry as a whole.

“I’m looking forward to helping new start-ups reach their next level of success. I want to thank Havas for giving me and my company, CEG, the opportunity to lead this process.”

Patrick Affleck, Havas Media Group’s chief executive, added: “As Black History Month comes to a close, we’re really proud to be announcing the launch of Havas Boost, which aims to help level the playing field for businesses founded by underrepresented groups, initially focussing on black, Asian and minority ethnic-owned start-ups.

“It’s inspiring to see how Gerald and his team have developed the programme, and we’re excited to see how we can make a meaningful difference to some diverse new entrants to the media and tech space.”

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