Supporting Black Entrepreneurs with Free Marketing And Mentorship Opportunities.


Black+ is an annual initiative between VICE Media Group and The National Urban League to provide Black-owned businesses with pro-bono media campaigns, creative marketing services, and mentorship opportunities.

Did you know 2.5 million of America’s businesses are owned by Black entrepreneurs? In 2020, 40% of them were shuttered, as a result of the pandemic. This plight is not a one-off, or an accident, but an extension of historic and systemic inequalities that Black business owners continue to face.

Black+ is a partnership between VICE Media Group and The National Urban League to provide a sustainable solution to positively impact Black businesses and their owners. We are committed to closing the gap that exists for Black businesses by offering our award-winning media capabilities and opportunities to Black entrepreneurs free of charge.


Application Closed

Thank you for your interest in Black+! Unfortunately, our application for 2021 is now closed.

After receiving a plethora of applications, we will now dedicate time to carefully look through every application and find the best fit for our 2021 Black+ Program. We will be announcing the selected twelve businesses in mid-late March. Please keep an eye out for communications from our Black+ team to confirm whether your business has been selected.

In the meantime, we encourage you to check out the following resources, initiatives, and informative stories:

Once again, thank you very much for showing interest for our Black+ program and good luck!


What is the Black+ Initiative?

Black+ is an annual initiative between VICE Media Group and The National Urban League to provide Black-owned businesses with pro-bono media campaigns, creative marketing services, and mentorship opportunities.

Upon meeting the selection criteria, Black business owners across varied industries are encouraged to apply to be a part of the Black+ initiative. Once our application window closes, VICE Media Group and The National Urban League will then select twelve businesses to participate in the program. Once selected, Black business owners will have access to VICE Media Group’s award-winning marketing capabilities to craft strategic and creative advertising campaigns that drive awareness to their respective brands. VICE Media Group with the help of The National Urban League will also provide mentorship opportunities to our selected Black-owned brands.

How do I apply to be apart of the VMG Black+ Initiative?

To apply to the Initiative, submit the online application form available here (the “Application”) during the Application Period.

Applications will be accepted by online entry only. No other method of entry will be accepted. All entries must be received by the end of the Application Period to be valid.

Limit one (1) entry per person/email address/business.

Applicants must fully complete, submit, and upload all information requested in the Application, as directed, during the Application Period in order to be eligible.

All entries must include a valid e-mail address and phone number for the applicant.

Applicants must acknowledge their agreement to these Terms and Conditions by clicking in the relevant box at the end of the Application.

Applicants are solely responsible for Internet connectivity, software and/or hardware that may be required in order to create and/or submit their Application, including any files.

Applications, including attachments, that do not comply with these Terms and Conditions and/or are incomplete or inaccurate will be void, eliminated and not eligible for consideration.

By submitting an Application, you represent that the materials submitted are original and have been created by you and/or that all necessary rights have been secured and disclosed in the event they were developed by others.

Who is eligible to apply for the Black+ Initiative?

To be eligible for the Initiative, applicants and their business must meet all of the following criteria:

  • - Applicant is eighteen (18) years of age or older as of the date the Application is submitted;
  • - Applicant is an owner of the business;
  • - Applicant identifies as Black or African American;
  • - At least fifty-one percent (51%) of the business is owned, controlled, operated and managed by Black or African American owners;
  • - Business is for-profit, based in the United States or the District of Columbia and is incorporated as a legal entity under the laws of any state within the United States or the District of Columbia (United States territories are excluded)
  • - Business satisfies each of the following requirements: (A) business has been operating for more than six (6) months; (B) Business has a functional, shoppable website; and (C) business has the ability to sell and/or distribute its products and/or services throughout the United States.

When does the application close?

The 2021 Black+ Initiative application period commences on February 23, 2021 at 12:00 AM Eastern Time (ET) and closes on March 7, 2021 at 11:59 PM ET (the “Application Period”) or until we reach 300 applicants, whichever comes first.

What will my business receive if chosen for the Black+ Initiative?

The twelve Black businesses chosen for the Black+ initiative will receive access to VICE Media Group’s marketing capabilities and resources to propel their business. This includes a mix of pro-bono media creative services, and integration into content from VICE Media Group and the National Urban League. Once chosen, we’ll schedule consultations with each of the twelve businesses to gain a better understanding of each entrepreneur’s business and the marketing/advertising services that are needed prior to launching a pro-bono campaign. All pro-bono campaigns will run in Q2 and Q3 2021 (April to September 2021) with a maximum of four at once to ensure that we are providing maximum internal support for each Black business and the execution of it’s pro-bono campaign.

How are the black businesses chosen to participate in the Black+ Initiative?

Eligible Applications will be reviewed by members of a committee consisting of a panel of VICE Media Group employees and National Urban League representatives. The finalists, and ultimately the Recipients, will be selected from among all eligible applicants based on the following criteria:

i.Innovation (25%): Is this business innovative? What makes it different or unique? Does it address an industry pain point faced by consumers? Does the business meet an identifiable need and actively test market response?

ii.Audience (25%): How will the business be received by VICE’s audience? Is the business within industries often advertised to VICE’s audience? Does the business have a sound target market and customer base?

iii.Brand Value (25%): Does the business meet VICE’s Black+ brand value requirements? Is the business active in the betterment of the Black community?

iv.Initiative Benefit (25%): Will participating in this Initiative have a measurable positive effect on the business?

In the event of a tie, the review committee will select the business that has the higher score under the “Initiative Benefit” category.

How will I know if my business is chosen for the Black+ Initiative?

VMG will reach out to the contact information provided on the application by Mid-March 2021 to confirm your business has been chosen and provide next steps for the program.

Businesses that are not selected for Black+ will be directed to our Locals Only Initiative, listed in an internal database for future opportunities, and/or potentially uplifted through VMG editorial programs.

What are the official Terms and Conditions for Black+?

Please see here for the Official Rules.

Who can I contact if I have more questions about Black+?

Please email us at if you have any additional questions or concerns.

Where can I go for more resources that will help my business?

Please visit the National Urban League for resources on how to grow your business. Also check out past work from Refinery29 and VICE on Black entrepreneurs stories and also our Locals Only intiative.