STV had announced the return of its successful Inclusion Fund award and is seeking four businesses committed to diversity and inclusion.
Following a pitch process, four successful SMEs will each be gifted £25k airtime to create and produce an on-air campaign, in collaboration with STV, to help grow their businesses. The funding comes via the £30m STV Growth Fund, which aims to make advertising more accessible and affordable for SMEs in Scotland.
STV launched the Inclusion Fund in 2021 and last year’s recipients of gifted membership were: Social Stories Club, a social enterprise in Edinburgh; Daisy Tree Baby Boutique, a family run high street and online store in Aberdeenshire; Deaf Action in Edinburgh, which supports the diversity of hearing-impaired people; and community interest firm, Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES). All four campaigns delivered awareness, impact and significant web traffic increases, helping to drive business growth.
Previous winner, Karis Gill, co-founder of Social Stories, said: “We were so excited when we found out that we had been awarded this opportunity as recognition for our diversity. We really enjoyed working with the STV team and watching our campaign come together. Social Stories Club was advertised alongside I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here and Mamma Mia! – The Movie – we feel incredibly lucky. Web traffic soared 1200% during peak times and we were seen by over 1 million people.”
This year’s judging panel is comprised of:
- Femi Otitoju – STV’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisor and Founder of Challenge Consultancy, part of the EW Group, which supports some of the UK’s leading brands and organisations to develop inclusive practice.
- Evelyn McDonald – CEO of Scottish EDGE, a competition aimed at identifying and supporting Scotland’s up-and-coming, innovative, high growth entrepreneurial talent.
- Aarti Joshi – a Transformational Coach, Radio and Podcast Presenter, and Marketing Consultant. She was previously marketing chief at DF Concerts and is on the Board of Trustees for Sub Club and SoundLab’s Dazzle Initiative.
- Mike Adams OBE – CEO of Purple, a cutting edge, disability led organisation that is changing the disability conversation highlighting the value, contribution and advantage disability can bring to business and society.
Danielle Kelly, Director of Strategy and Sales Scotland at STV, said: “Our Inclusion Fund was set up to provide targeted funding for true business diversity champions. Last year’s initiative, providing gifted airtime for four SMEs, was a huge success and we have strong evidence highlighting the positive impact their bespoke campaigns had on their business performance. Diversity and inclusion are key priorities for us and we can’t wait to hear from interested businesses from across the country.”
How to Enter
STV is inviting businesses with a commitment to inclusive growth and who are keen to kickstart or invigorate their marketing campaigns to nominate themselves or an SME for one of four £25k funded memberships plus £2.5k commercial production value. Interested businesses should download an application form from the STV Commercial website - https://www.stvcommercial.tv/inclusion-fund-awards/ – and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org before midnight on 6 March. Finalists will be invited to present their proposals in April 2023. This will include a chat with the panel about how they champion diversity through their brand, thoughts on their marketing plans and to provide details on their longer-term D&I strategies.