2020 has presented a staggering number of challenges for people all across the world. Within the retail industry, those challenges began with shuttered stores and loss of revenue, resulting in widespread furloughs and layoffs. No challenge, however, has proven as critical or as urgent as the reality of systemic racism, discrimination, and inequality.
In light of the horrific events that occurred and continue to occur to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), Women, and LGBTQ+ communities, the individuals that make up Hero came together to form IMPACT, an internal task force committed to building a product and culture that promotes equality, diversity, and inclusion.
As a company firmly rooted in retail, we’ve seen first-hand how small businesses positively impact the communities around them and how they drive real change. They’re the lifeblood of the economy, accounting for two-thirds of net new jobs in the U.S. and responsible for 44 percent of U.S. economic activity. In the wake of the challenges brought to light in 2020, supporting minority-owned small businesses in particular has emerged as one of the most effective ways for people of all backgrounds to stand in solidarity with a wide range of communities.
That’s why we’re proud to announce the Future50 initiative. Designed to provide minority-owned small businesses the tools they need to grow, we’re thrilled to offer 50 Shopify-based businesses owned by BIPOC, Women, and LGBTQ+ individuals the opportunity to add Hero to their ecommerce store free of charge, alongside complementary support and monitoring.
As a company that employs 100 people across the globe and whose services touch millions of shoppers around the world, we have a responsibility to promote equality, diversity, and inclusion through our product and platform. This is just the beginning.
To be eligible for entry, you must:
• Have an existing Shopify-based business with less than $250,000 in annual sales
• Be at least partially owned by a BIPOC, Woman, or by someone from the LGBTQ+ community
Please be aware, your Shopify store must be based in the U.S., Canada, UK, Australia or Singapore, accepting payments in single-currency with English set as the default language. Both Shopify stores with brick-and-mortar locations as well as Shopify stores that are ecommerce-only are eligible for entry.
We will support the 50 successful merchants with access to Hero’s virtual shopping and virtual clienteling features – the same technology that retailers including Levi’s, DECIEM and rag & bone use to grow their sales and customer loyalty – for 12 months from initial installation. Our team will support with various virtual best-practice sessions covering getting started right through to maximizing sales.
Applications must be received no later than January 31, 2021.