Mission Partners launches program to invest in Black entrepreneurs

The initiative aims to address the racial disparity in PR agency ownership.

L-R: Carrie Fox and Ryan Pintado-Vertner.

ROCKVILLE, MD: Social impact communications firm Mission Partners has launched a Social Entrepreneur in Residence program.

The program, which kicked off last month, specifically invests in Black entrepreneurs as they grow their businesses and is aimed at addressing the racial disparity in communications agency ownership. Only 8% of agency leadership identifies as Black, while 89.8% identifies as white, according to PRWeek’s 2020 Agency Business Report.

Carrie Fox, founder and CEO of Mission Partners, is leading the program, which is part of the certified B Corporation’s commitment to shift $2.5 million to Black and women-led organizations by 2025.

The nine-month application-based process is designed for Black entrepreneurs with one-to-five years of experience as an agency business owner. Throughout the residency, the entrepreneur will receive executive-level coaching and financial support to grow and scale their company. In return, the entrepreneur will provide skilled expertise in their respective area of focus to Mission Partners’ employees and clients. 

Fox explained that Mission Partners’ purpose is to use comms as a tool for social change. 

“We decided to launch this program to help shift financial capital to use our power, privilege and advantage as a white-led firm to support and invest in Black-led founders who don't always have easy access to the capital and resources that many of our white agency counterparts have had,” said Fox.

Mission Partners’ inaugural Social Entrepreneur in Residence is Ryan Pintado-Vertner, CEO and founder of boutique brand consultancy Smoketown. Pintado-Vertner’s residency, which runs from September through May, will help shape the growth and future of the program and he will be involved in the selection of future awardees. 

Applications for the next resident open in January 2023 at www.Mission.Partners/Residency

“Ultimately, success for us is using this opportunity to set an inspiration point for my peers in the sector,” said Fox. 

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