Many people and industries still don’t view content creation as ‘a real job,’ which has left many creators without the necessary financial resources and banking tools to run their businesses effectively. Creative Juice is a FinTech company offering financial literacy and business tools designed specifically for creators so they can run their businesses more effectively and monetize easier. Creative Juice is open to all creators, regardless of platform, size, or current earnings.
Today, we’re speaking with CEO & Co-Founder Sima Gandhi about their new Black Creator Incubator program.
What is the Black Creator Incubator Program?
The Black Creator Incubator is an inaugural program created to uplift Black creator voices and provide education and resources to help them grow as creators. Creative Juice is committing $25,000 to Black creators to help them scale their businesses. Creative Juice will choose five Black creators on February 27th to receive these allotted funds and participate in creative and financial educational sessions.
The idea for this program was born out of Creative Juice’s mission to help all creators grow, especially disadvantaged creators.
Sima explains, “If you look at dollars earned by gender or dollars earned by race, there is a disparity between men and women and between creators of color and white creators. We want to lift up black creators. I think the reality is that a lot of black creators don’t have the same type of support systems that white or other socioeconomically advantaged creators have.”
She adds that many successful young creators they meet have parents that manage their business bank account and help them with financial education. Unfortunately, access to this community and resources is not a reality as often for Black creators.
Sima notes, “[The program is] not only just to give money and lift up and recognize black creators as businesses, but also to put educational programming around it, so that we are really supporting them with resources and education on their journey to being really successful businesses.”
The Challenges Facing Black Creators
One of the biggest challenges facing Black Creators today is pay inequality and a lack of access to financial resources.
Sima shares, “Black creators earn about 67 cents compared to white creators when it comes to earning income on YouTube or TikTok or Twitch, so there’s definitely pay inequality. I think there’s also a lack of access to capital.”
Creative Juice has experienced disproportionate interest from Black creators, which Sima suspects are due to even less access to capital resources than white creators.
Education is another challenge that Black creators face. Running a business is complicated, and without proper education on taxes, bookkeeping, and write-offs, creators can lose money or end up in tricky financial situations.
Sima explains, “[It’s] how do I do my bookkeeping? Can I write off my expenses? Even the importance of taking your business money and putting it into a business bank account as opposed to co-mingling it with your personal account. That’s a basic thing that anyone who is making money should do, but many people don’t know that they should do that… so we’re trying to combat the education gap and make it more sustainable to be in business.”
When creators don’t understand how to run a business effectively, it can also lead to additional time spent on admin tasks, which is draining and stressful for most creators. Instead, creators could use this lost time to create more content, focus on big-picture, important tasks, or as time off.
The Black Creator Incubator program will provide five Black creators with $5,000 each and education on brand deals, taxes, bookkeeping, growing your platform, and handling finances as a creator to help creators overcome these challenges.
Sima’s Advice for Black Creators
Sima’s number one advice for Black creators is to legitimize themselves as a business. Content creators are business owners, which is a critical distinction in operating and tracking your finances.
She shares, “I think the number one thing is to legitimize yourself. You are a business person. Don’t let anyone tell you anything different… Take the steps to respect yourself that way and treat yourself like a business because it’ll just make success that much more prolonged and likely.”
She suggests setting goals for yourself, taking your finances seriously, and educating yourself as much as possible to create a sustainable business. While outsourcing financial management can be good, she also suggests paying close attention to your money and taking time to understand what is happening with it. Take charge and control your destiny and finances.
Future Plans at Creative Juice
Sima and the Creative Juice team are excited to receive feedback from the five selected Black Creator Incubator program creators. This program is their first incubator, and they look forward to taking that feedback and developing more funds in the future, especially for underrepresented communities.
“In general, I’d say what we at Creative Juice are trying to do is really merge the idea of financial education and empowerment with business banking and the tools that you need to actually grow your business, and that extends to all creators. I think the creator economy is really interesting because it allows people to access forms of business and success without necessarily having to do the traditional things, like go to college.”
She adds, “We are working with some awesome ambassadors. We went to awesome ambassadors to help us spread the word [about the Black Creator Incubator], and they are just icons for what your future can look like as a successful creator business.”
Creative Juice also collects data about how creators grow, especially when they get the support they need and treat themselves as a business.
For example, Lorissa Nelson is a Black beauty creator on YouTube who has cultivated a close-knit community. Since working with Creative Juice and receiving community and support, she has increased her revenue by 14% and RPM by 34%.
Sima and her team are excited to help more creators achieve results like these and grow sustainable businesses.