Singles and small businesses have one thing in common: the pandemic was tough on their prospects.
Black dating app BLK is trying to make life better for both with a new campaign, launched Monday, that promises to fund dates at Black-owned businesses for users who submit a successful video application.
Throughout the month of August, which is National Black Business Month, BLK users can share a video explaining why they need the funds to pay for their dating or social life and how inflation is impeding their ability to go out.
BLK recently surveyed 20,000 users, half of which said they couldn’t afford to pay for dates or social gatherings due to rising prices.
Around 60% of Black business owners have raised prices to remain profitable, according to a Goldman Sachs survey released in February.
In their video submissions, BLK users can speak to their ideal first date, how they’d manifest it with a check or which Black-owned businesses in their area they can support, said Jonathan Kirkland, head of marketing and brand at BLK. He said the videos don’t need to meet any specific criteria, but especially creative and interesting takes are more likely to win a digital check.
BLK will give a minimum of $20 to winners, but Kirkland said that funding will depend on the videos users submit — i.e. where they want to go and what businesses exist in their areas. Singles and couples can spend the money on any kind of date as long as it’s spent at a Black-owned business in the U.S.
“We found that when stimulus checks did come out a couple years ago, a lot of user activity on the app increased,” Kirkland said.
He said there’s a reserved pool of money BLK will draw from to fund dates, though he declined to comment on how much.
He said the app has nearly 8 million downloads, but declined to specify active monthly users.
Only current users will be eligible to receive funding for a date, but Kirkland said that BLK will also highlight the initiative and different Black-owned businesses across social media and through influencers to drive traffic to the app.
BLK also partnered with The Gathering Spot, a Black-owned, Atlanta-based private networking club, to give all of its users financial literacy tips throughout August. BLK will push in-app notifications informing users on topics like how inflation affects money flow and how to grow a small business.
At the end of the month, The Gathering Spot will open its doors, usually reserved for members, to BLK users who will be able to attend a live financial literacy workshop in Atlanta. Kirkland said the specific date and speakers will be announced at a future date.
BLK is owned by Match Group, a dating service company that also owns Tinder, Hinge and OkCupid. Last week, Tinder announced a slate of executive changes that included Renate Nyborg stepping down as CEO and Melissa Hobley moving in to lead marketing from her post as CMO at OKCupid.
This story first appeared on campaignlive.com.