Pinterest celebrated Women’s History Month with a big announcement. Ten female-owned businesses with a focus on those from underrepresented groups will receive funding, ad credits, business coaching, audience insights, and more from the Pinterest Elevates Program. The goal? Create belonging by ensuring female-owned businesses are able to maximize their on-platform opportunities. Our team of experts weighed in on the platform’s unique approach to using their own product as an opportunity to promote female empowerment. Here’s what they said:
How could you not get behind this latest initiative from Pinterest? It just makes sense. Not only are they lifting up female-owned businesses from underrepresented groups through funding, they are setting them up with tools and skills to grow their business using the Pinterest platform. From a brand perspective, it brings a lot of value to Pinterest as well.
The great resignation is being fueled in part by people wanting to pursue their own passions and start a business of their own, and platforms like Pinterest are wise to align themselves with the small business community given this growth. I also noticed that many of the businesses they chose are not in the typical verticals I think of when I get on Pinterest like clothing and home goods but rather skincare, makeup and jewelry. This makes me wonder if it is also a play for them to connect with these verticals in a new way.
Samara Anderson, VP of Sales & Marketing
The obvious good thing about this is businesses owned by underrepresented groups getting a jump start they may need and some ad credits, but what puts me off is the sort of blanket approach the program takes. It assumes that they need business strategy help and training, which makes it sound like they’re assuming these owners are somehow lacking in their business acumen?
I think the best thing brands can do to promote accessibility is to listen to what underrepresented creators and founders are wanting. Belonging is the difference between “we’re supporting you because you’re underrepresented and your product is great” (performative) and “we support you because you have a great product and your identity didn’t get in the way of us recognizing, acknowledging, or celebrating that.”
Allison Mendoza, Project Manager
This makes my heart so happy—it’s great to see an influential brand utilize its platform to help elevate small businesses. By doing so, Pinterest is creating an inclusive space by providing opportunities for hardworking businesses to grow and succeed in the marketplace. The whole program is empowering, and I’m hoping it inspires other companies to follow suit.
Sam Peterson, Junior Copywriter
This initiative gets my mind going around what other product-driven brands may have opportunities to take a step back and view their product through the lens of “how might the capabilities of this product/platform serve to empower underrepresented groups?”
To me, it feels genuine that Pinterest isn’t just pledging to donate money to female-owned businesses. They understand two things: the value for small businesses in optimizing their digital sales channels AND that they’ve built a platform that can help female owners accomplish that.
Carrie Polen, Sales & Marketing Coordinator