CitizenM launches Founders First programme

by: Mark Caswell | June 12, 2024

WORLDWIDE: CitizenM has launched a new Founders First programme, aimed at celebrating and empowering small business owners in underrepresented communities.

In honour of Pride Month the inaugural beneficiaries of the programme will be the LGBTQIA+ community.

The hotel group said that the initiative was an extension of its core values including the brand statement “citizenM welcomes you all”, and stressed its belief “in the significance of honouring and championing the LGBTQIA+ community not just during Pride Month but throughout the year”.

CitizenM said that data shows that LGBTQIA+ founders receive 16 per cent less funding in the US compared to the average, “despite being responsible for the creation of 36 per cent more jobs, 114 per cent more patents and 44 per cent more exits”.

Founders are invited to submit their brand vision via citizenM’s social media channels “in a way that feels right to them”, with one US and one UK founder being chosen to join the programme.

Winners will receive a two-year mycitizenM+ membership for themselves and their team of up to ten people, giving them access to benefits including free co-working facilities at any of the group’s 34 hotels worldwide.

They will also get a chance to showcase their product or service in citizenM’s flagship hotels in either New York or London, alongside visibility across the group’s global channels through campaign content.

Finally the winners will receive £5,000 to facilitate their brand vision, as well as benefiting from consultations with citizenM’s expert procurement team.

CitizenM’s latest ESG report (published in July 2023) highlighted the group’s Diversity and Inclusion committee, which focuses on the three pillars of citizenM inside, citizenM guests and communities, and citizenM partners and suppliers.

Among the committee’s initiatives include ‘real talk’ sessions, where employees are invited to discuss everything from spirituality / faith to LGBTQIA+, disability and unconscious bias.

Commenting on the news Robin Chadha, citizenM’s chief brand officer, said: “At citizenM, we celebrate individuality, creative expression and freedom every day. As a brand built for entrepreneurs and creators, we recognise the LGBTQIA+ community’s underrepresentation in the founder space.

“That is why we’re thrilled to launch our inaugural Founders First programme, designed to provide the community with opportunities to grow, network and feel a sense of belonging with citizenM. As a brand, we hope to serve as a hub for inspiration and growth, so we’re excited to support our new founders.”

In 2023 the hotel group secured a Sustainability Linked Loan with the aim to reduce its environmental impact.

citizenM secures Sustainability Linked Loan with aim to reduce environmental impact

Image supplied by citizenM