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Diversity & Inclusion: BVA’s Partnership with Start Small Think Big

BVA is excited to announce our partnership with the organization Start Small Think Big as part of our Diversity and Inclusion Plan.

Why This Matters

We approached the creation of our diversity and inclusion initiatives with the understanding that many small business owners are disadvantaged by factors outside of their control.

Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs face adversity without access to the resources necessary to help their businesses grow. These are also underrepresented groups in the world of eCommerce in particular; many businesses owned by people of color do not have as much of an online presence.

As an agency with employees experienced across many commerce service lines, we’re in a unique position to provide expertise and strategy to drive business success. Putting those resources to use in support of underserved groups is one way that we can give back and fight systemic racism.

This was an easy decision for our leadership team because of our employees. When asked for suggestions, many of our team members responded with the idea of pro-bono work and forming connections with charitable organizations. This is something that matters to our people, and this passion will be the guiding force in our partnership.

What’s Start Small Think Big?

Start Small Think Big is a nonprofit charitable organization that helps under-resourced entrepreneurs and businesses by connecting them with professional service providers at no cost.

They serve low-income businesses and entrepreneurs who are of color, women, or part of another disadvantaged group. Their work helps to create more diversity in business and fosters inclusion. With 95% of their clients being minority or woman-owned businesses, and helping 1,000 annually, they have already created a meaningful impact in the world of commerce.

These businesses experience an average of a 57% increase in revenue after working with the Start Small Think Big organization for a year. This is achieved through partnering with agencies and service providers that have expertise ensured to lead to success and growth.

Start Small Think Big has worked with clients in many industries and verticals, ranging from food and beverage to cleaning services. One of their recent success stories during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic was Bandida Horchata Cold Brew, a rising brand on the Shopify eCommerce platform. Bandida’s business owner, Megan Meza, worked with Start Small Think Big in order to build corporate relationships, connect Bandida with pro-bono legal services, and for general counseling. The business is such a success that for March and April of 2020, the brand donated 20% of delivery sales to CityMeals on Wheels to help feed the elderly who were at high risk of contracting COVID-19.

What We’ll Be Doing

When it comes to BVA’s role in this partnership, we’re focused on one of our Diversity and Inclusion plan pillars: “Action”. With this pillar comes inclusion initiatives that serve the ultimate goal of creating programs and benefits both for our internal team and externally. This part of our plan is aimed at making a meaningful difference through innovation and our agency’s work.

Through our partnership with Start Small Think Big, BVA will be able to make an impact by providing volunteer employees for consulting and education purposes. Their organization will connect our teams with businesses who need us the most but would otherwise not have access to the services we offer.

Our partnership will be built upon three categories of activities: eCommerce workshops, volunteer clinics, and project-based engagements. Here’s a look at each of these areas.

  1. ECOMMERCE WORKSHOPS

In collaboration with the Start Small Think Big organization, BVA’s team will help develop monthly eCommerce workshops for small businesses. Our employees will be creating content and curriculum around important topics in eCommerce such as eCommerce marketing, digital content, and measuring success.

The goal of these workshops will be to address the core eCommerce needs of Start Small Think Big clients and to provide an easy way for BVA experts to share their knowledge.

  • VOLUNTEER CLINICS
  • BVA and Start Small Think Big will also be hosting monthly clinics wherein our employees will volunteer to participate in 1:1 virtual marketing consultations with small business leadership teams.

    BVA’s Digital Marketing and Media department will be advising clients in one-hour sessions on topics such as branding, digital marketing strategies, and online advertising.

  • PRO-BONO WORK
  • We’re taking on eCommerce-focused projects, working directly with Start Small Think Big business owners and their leadership. These projects will be crafted around the entrepreneurs’ needs and the BVA team’s expertise and interest. This will be a way that our agency provides high-quality service for free, while also allowing our employees an opportunity to work on passion projects and gain new perspectives.

    Closing Thoughts

    We’re very grateful for this opportunity to work with an awesome organization and to make an impact in the world of commerce. Our team is excited to be able to spend time working on projects that make a difference and to help for underrepresented groups.

    If you’re curious about Start Small Think Big, or looking to get in touch with their organization, you can check them out here!

    If you’re curious about how we went about creating our Diversity and Inclusion Plan, you can read more here.

    We want to keep the conversation around these topics flowing. Have a new project in mind or just want to chat about diversity and inclusion in commerce? Feel free to reach out to us.