BrainTrust Founders Studio and Fashion Scholarship Fund Celebrates Black-Owned Businesses in Partnership with Afterpay

February 01, 2022USA

Donations from latest ‘top up’ program will fund mentorship opportunities and programs for beauty, wellness and fashion professionals in the Black community

SAN FRANCISCO, February 1, 2022 — Afterpay, the global leader in “Buy Now, Pay Later” (BNPL) payments, announced its continued partnership with BrainTrust Founders Studio and the launch of a new partnership with the Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF). Together, these organizations will implement a give back program and other activities throughout the year to support Black-owned partners. 

In recognition of Black History Month, the program will kick-off by giving consumers the opportunity to contribute $1 when they pay with Afterpay. Participating shoppers who ‘top-up’ will actively support Afterpay’s partner associations – BrainTrust Founders Studio to increase exclusive economic opportunities for Black beauty and wellness founders, and FSF’s Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund to foster equity for rising Black fashion students. 

“I wanted to provide a scalable way to create parity and equity for Black Beauty and Wellness Founders by providing mentorship, education, community and capital through a global ecosystem and a trusted community,” said Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, Founder of BrainTrust Founders Studio. “We are grateful to Afterpay for supporting our mission to close the wealth gap and transform the economic landscape for Black founders by highlighting their companies and creating a space to showcase and celebrate their brands.”

“We are so pleased that Afterpay is supporting the Fashion Scholarship Fund’s ongoing commitment to provide scholarships, mentorships and career opportunities for Black students entering the fashion industry. Initiatives of this kind not only support Black entrepreneurial talent and businesses, but also help to pave the way for the next generation,” said Peter Arnold, Executive Director, Fashion Scholarship Fund.

Zahir Khoja, General Manager of North America said: “During Black History Month, we honor the history and influence the Black community has contributed to the rich fabric of our culture. While we recognize there’s still more work to do to uplift this community, Afterpay is prioritizing our support for diverse businesses this month and all year-round. We are committed to actively learning and participating in this dialogue to champion our Black-owned partners.” 

In addition to the ‘top-up’ program, Afterpay also unveiled the following actions to support ongoing DE&I commitments:

  • Ongoing services provided by Afterpay to mentor the next generation of Black entrepreneurs at BrainTrust Founders Studio.  
  • Marketing promotions to connect more consumers to Afterpay Black-owned partners through preferential ad placements, cross-channel promotions and custom video series highlighting Black CEOs. 

Since the beginning of 2021, Afterpay has welcomed 24% more Black-owned businesses to its Shopping App. During the 2021 holiday season, more than half a million Afterpay customers purchased from Black and female-owned businesses – indicating shoppers’ continued preference for these businesses and brands. 

For a list of Afterpay’s Black-owned partners, visit the dedicated Shopping App page here. To read more on Afterpay’s commitment to Black-owned businesses, visit the company’s social responsibility page here.  


About Afterpay 

Afterpay Limited is transforming the way we pay by allowing customers to buy products immediately and pay for their purchases over four installments, always interest-free. The service is completely free for customers who pay on time – helping people spend responsibly without incurring interest. As of June 30, 2021, Afterpay is offered by more than 100,000 of the world’s favorite retailers and nearly 16 million+ active customers have adopted the service. 

Afterpay is currently available in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Spain, where it is known as Clearpay. Afterpay is on a mission to power an economy in which everyone wins.  Afterpay is a wholly owned subsidiary of Block, Inc. (NYSE: SQ).

About BrainTrust Founder Studio

BrainTrust Founders Studio is a membership-based, tech-enabled community platform that helps beauty and wellness founders start new brands, supports existing founders who are ready for growth and invests in subsequent founders who are primed for acceleration and follow-on capital. Whether you are starting, growing, or at the point of acceleration, BrainTrust Founders Studio provides an ecosystem of community, education, mentorship, and capital to support your business needs.

About FashionScholarship Fund

The Fashion Scholarship Fund is the foremost fashion-oriented education and workforce development nonprofit in the U.S. The FSF works directly with the country’s most talented young students from diverse backgrounds and awards over $1 million each year in scholarships to help these students succeed in all sectors of the industry including design, merchandising, marketing analytics, and supply chain. The FSF also provides scholars with a wide range of internship and career opportunities, mentorship, networking, professional development, and unprecedented access to the industry’s most influential leaders and companies.

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