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Mars, Inc.

Mars, Inc. is facing backlash on social media for rebranding its M&Ms characters to be more progressive, diverse and inclusive.

Most notably, the brown and green M&Ms characters have lost their sex appeal.

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The brown M&M's white pumps have been lowered to befit a school teacher and the green M&M will trade in her go-go boots for white sneakers.

Mars, Inc. made the changes to bring the characters in line with the company's commitment to gender balanced leadership.

"We're excited to reveal our new M&M'S brand look and feel, which fans will see come to life across all M&M'S touchpoints around the globe," said Jane Hwang, Global Marketing Vice President, Mars Wrigley.

Mars, Inc. also changed the tan flesh tone arms and legs of the six characters to white.

Twitter is not amused.


 

Comments Off on EnrichHER Launches $5,000 Small Business Grant to Aid Women of Color

Marko Geber / DigitalVision

The EnrichHER $5,000 small business grant launches today, January 20! Women and business owners of color are encouraged to apply. The EnrichHER Grant supports diverse-led businesses with funds to help navigate today's tough economy.

The EnrichHER $5,000 Grant Contest targeting women and founders of color is now live, EnrichHER announced today. EnrichHER will begin accepting applications Thursday, January 20, 2022 until Thursday, February 3, 2022 at enrichher.com/grant. A grant winner will be chosen and announced on Wednesday, March 31, 2022. Applicants must be a U.S.-based business owned by a woman or person of color.

As inflation, COVID-19 and labor shortages continue to complicate today's economy, small business owners are under tremendous pressure to manage and grow their businesses. The $5,000 EnrichHER Grant is a lifeline for founders seeking funds for operational needs such as new equipment, a marketing campaign or payroll support.

Registered grant applicants will receive information on financing options, the EnrichHER Accelerator Program, as well as access to a weekly newsletter providing over $50,000 in grant opportunities and pitch competitions weekly.

"I'm excited to begin the new year with an opportunity that will help New Majority founders reach their 2022 business goals," says Dr. Roshawnna Novellus, founder and CEO of EnrichHER, which to date has connected businesses to $14MM in capital.

"Despite the challenges businesses led by women and people of color face, these owners are growing and managing companies that are stabilizing our economy and providing consumers with much-needed goods and services. Their survival is crucial to our community’s ability to get through these uncertain times. I am proud that EnrichHER is playing a role in empowering this demographic of entrepreneurs."

EnrichHER is the only Black woman-owned fintech lender serving women and business owners of color.

For more information, visit enrichher.com/grant.

ABOUT ENRICHHER
EnrichHER is a financial technology platform that matches revenue-generating companies led by women and founders of color to individual and institutional sources of funding. A Certified B Corporation™ and Techstars alum, EnrichHER has been in-market since 2019, deploying $14M in capital to traditional businesses from 47 states. Our network has engaged with over 98,000 companies through our digital community and in-person activations. Named one of Atlanta Business Chronicle's 2021 "Atlanta Startups to Watch," winner of the FinTech South Challenge and the TiE Atlanta ACCESS Pitch Day, EnrichHER is proud to fuel the fastest-growing demographics of business owners -- Black women and diverse-led companies -- by providing capital, coaching, and connections.

SOCIAL
IG: @ienrichher, @roshawnnanovellus TW: @ienrichher, @drroshawnna LinkedIn: EnrichHER, Roshawnna Facebook: @iEnrichHER

Media Contact:
Saptosa Foster
press@enrichher.com

Best Image / BACKGRID

There's more bad news for disgraced rapper Travis Scott in the wake of his Astroworld tragedy that left 10 people dead in November.

According to WWD, Dior announced it has shelved the line it was developing with Scott's Cactus Jack brand in the wake of the Astroworld tragedy.

Best Image / BACKGRID

"Out of respect for everyone affected by the tragic events at Astroworld, Dior has decided to postpone indefinitely the launch of products from the Cactus Jack collaboration originally intended to be included in its summer 2022 collection."

Best Image / BACKGRID

It was initially reported by WWD that the line had been "canceled," but Scott's team allegedly begged the fashion house to update the statement to reflect the "indefinite postponement" status.

The new clothing line would have been called Cactus Jack Dior, named after Scott's record label, Cactus Jack Records.

@TheHapaBlonde / BACKGRID

Other corporations that dropped Scott like a hot potato include Nike, Anheuser-Busch and McDonalds. Music festivals that canceled Scott include Coachella 2022 and the Day N Vegas Fest.

AFP Photo/Red Sea Film Festival

International supermodel, activist and philanthropist Naomi Campbell has signed with Women Management, an agency within the Elite World Group network, marking a new chapter for Campbell as she evolves into a businesswoman and industry activist supporting emerging creative talent.

"I am absolutely thrilled to join Women Management," said Campbell, 51.

"Together, in partnership with Elite World Group, we will change the game for fashion as we know it. For years, it's been my personal mission to support creative talent in emerging markets. From Africa to India, to the Middle East and Europe, there are so many voices that deserve to be heard. It's so important that the fashion industry looks beyond its core capitals to invest in this extraordinary talent. Working in true partnership with Women Management and Elite World Group, we will be able to leverage a powerful global network to help more people share their genius with the world. Anything is possible in this next chapter, and I can't wait to get to work!"

Dave Benett/Getty Images

"Naomi is an icon. A supermodel. An elemental force. She has shaped and redefined fashion and culture many times over. We're honored that she's returned to her roots at Women New York to continue her unrivaled career, and we are proud to work together to elevate talent from emerging markets around the globe," said Akeem Rasool, image director, Women Management.

BACKGRID

The London-born supermodel has walked runways for more than three decades, for Chanel, Azzedine Alaïa, Christian Dior, and Versace, as well as appearing in thousands of magazines and advertising campaigns.

While conquering the fashion world, Campbell has been an activist since the 1990s, when she met South African President Nelson Mandela, who called her his "honorary granddaughter."


News Pictures/WENN.com

In addition to working with the United Nations on behalf of human rights and global health, she's focused on empowering young people and women by promoting industries such as fashion, tech, business, entertainment, and arts in Africa.

In 2018, Campbell became executive producer of Arise Fashion Week, which presents top fashion talents from the continent's 54 countries.

Source: From a press release

Prince Williams/Wireimage

Local rap legends Tip "T.I." Harris and Killer Mike have plans to reopen the once popular Bankhead Seafood restaurant.

The duo purchased the seafood eatery in January 2020, but their plans to reopen the restaurant was derailed by the pandemic.

Now those plans are back on, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Prince Williams/Wireimage

They plan to rebuild and reopen Bankhead Seafood on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway on Atlanta's Westside.

Rebuilding Bankhead Seafood is estimated to cost $1.8 million, and an additional $185,000 to update the parking lot.

The venture will be expensive, but Killer Mike recently secured financing to launch his own Black-owned bank online.

Both men have had some success with retail in Atlanta. T.I. owns a clothing line, and he once employed a dozen people in his restaurant on Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard.

BACKGRID

In addition to Killer Mike's other business ventures, he owns a barbershop that was hit by stray bullets in February. He also runs SWAG Shop suites in State Farm Arena that includes a barbershop.

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The fallout continues for "Sicko Mode" rapper Travis Scott as more brands distance themselves from him.

Scott had hoped his sit-down interview with Charlamagne the god last week would bring comfort and healing to the families of the victims who died or were injured at his Astroworld Festival.

But Scott's first interview since his Astroworld catastrophe only angered his victims' loved ones.

Coachella organizers announced the troubled rapper will not grace the stage in 2022. And Anheuser-Busch canceled his spiked CACTI seltzers, which have been in stores for less than a year.

The city of Indio announced Coachella axed Scott's planned performance next year. The decision comes after an online petition garnered more than 75,000 signatures.

And Anheuser-Busch deleted the CACTI seltzer brand's social media accounts on Instagram and Twitter.

In a statement, Anheuser-Busch said the brand's fans would understand the decision to torpedo Scott's seltzer drinks.

"After careful evaluation, we have decided to stop all production and brand development of CACTI Agave Spiked Seltzer. We believe brand fans will understand and respect this decision," a spokesperson for the company said in a statement, per AdAge.

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YouTube / Fox8

A 9-year-old boy and his mom launched a company to sell affirming and inspiring dolls for boys called "Our Brown Boy Joy."

Demetrius Maurice Davis, Jr., aka "Lil Dee", is the CEO of Our Brown Boy Joy, a plush doll line for young Black boys.

Lil Dee started the company at age 8 with his mom, Luciana Gilmore, to change the narrative about Black youth in the United States.

The Our Brown Boy Joy website states the ultimate goal of the toy line is "Building Confident Brown Boys through visual, play, and educational representation."

"It is important to me because I want the world to think good things about Brown boys," Lil Dee tells PEOPLE. "We aren't bad, or mean, or trouble; we are smart, fun, and creative."

Gilmore said she came up with the idea for the plush dolls because her son loves toys but he couldn't find any boy dolls in toy stores.

"My son loves toys and we would go to many stores and not see anything in the aisles that look like my son."

"My mother had a mentoring business for girls, and I felt like there wasn't anything for me," Lil Dee tells PEOPLE. "I begged my mother to focus on boys."

"Our boys are often depicted negatively in the media," Gilmore said.

"On store shelves, the representation is minimal. And within the toys category, there is almost none for our boys. We must have opportunities for our boys to see themselves positively everywhere. Representation matters."

Gilmore, a former school principal in Cleveland, said she dressed the "My Friend" doll in a hoodie to "bring attention to the things that are going on in our community," such as the Trayvon Martin murder in Florida.

The doll, which retails for $49 to $59 each, recites inspiring messages when it is squeezed.

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YouTube / Fox8

"We wanna make sure that they constantly hear messages and affirmations of how wonderful they are. That they're smart," Gilmore said. "Because there's a narrative that is out worldwide that we wanna make sure that we are changing."

She said her son has subscription boxes that comes out monthly and is filled affirming toys for boys.

"The response has been awesome!" Lil Dee tells PEOPLE.

"Having people send pictures, email me, or walk up to me and say thank you has made me so happy. I think people really like the affirmations the dolls say, and they are in my voice."

 

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Getty Images, Nike

Nike has postponed the release of a Travis Scott sneaker after the youngest Astroworld victim died from brain injuries.

Nike delayed the release of the "Travis Scott" Air Max 1 and Cactus Jack shoe after 9-year-old Ezra Blount's family confirmed his death on Sunday. A total of 10 people were crushed to death during the event.

"Out of respect for everyone impacted by the tragic events at the Astroworld Festival, we are postponing the launch of the Air Max 1 x Cactus Jack," Nike said in a statement on Monday.

Scott faces over 100 lawsuits filed on behalf of victims who were trampled during a stampede at NRG Park on November 5.

WENN.com

Attorneys for the victims say Scott has a history of violence and injuries at his concerts over the years. He was arrested twice in the past for inciting violence and urging the audience to rush the stage.

Nike said the release of the Travis Scott sneaker is "indefinitely" suspended. The announcement drove up prices of previously released Travis Scott sneakers.

A pair of Travis Scott "reworked" Nike Air Force 1s featuring a reverse swoop is on sale for $2,625 at Stadium Goods. And a pair of Travis Scott SB Dunk Lows is going for $2,369.

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TikTok

A real estate agent is credited with exposing Zillow's home-flipping business model.

In the 2-minute viral video, the Nevada-based agent, Sean Gotcher lays out a hypothetical scenario involving a billion-dollar company that buys entire neighborhoods and flips the houses for a quick dollar profit.

In his hypothetical situation, Gotcher wondered what would happen if the unnamed company created its own neighborhood comps (comparable home prices) to artificially drive up the prices of the homes it was selling.

Gotcher provides an example: the company purchased 30 homes for $300,000 each. Then purchased a home for $340,000 in the same neighborhood. That extra $40,000 would artificially increase the comps in the neighborhood.

"What that just did is create a new comp," Gotcher said.

The video has since garnered over 3 million views and is credited with accelerating the collapse of Zillow's "iBuying" model.

However, both Zillow and Redfin denied overpaying for houses to drive up the comps.

"Intentionally overpaying for homes would be a terrible business model," a Redfin spokesperson said.

Zillow has since halted its iBuying program and has stopped purchasing homes in areas such as Atlanta and Dallas.

The company is looking to sell off 7,000 homes for $2.8 billion -- much lower than what Zillow originally paid for the homes.

Watch Gotcher's video below.
 

@seangotcher

#housing

? San Tropez - Illect Recordings

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The name "Facebook" will be no more after next week. Founder Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly rebranding Facebook to focus on building his "metaverse."

According to The Verge, Zuckerberg will announce the new name change at the company's annual Connect conference on October 28th, but he could announce it sooner.

Facebook's familiar blue logo will also go the way of the dinosaurs.

Zuckerberg is reportedly rebranding Facebook to move beyond its core social media products like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and more.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Zuckerberg recently announced plans to hire 10,000 workers in Europe to transition the company from social media to "being a metaverse company."

The 10,000 new employees will work on building hardware such as AR glasses that Zuckerberg believes will eventually be as popular as smartphones.

In July, Zuckerberg told The Verge that, over the next several years, "we will effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company."

The new Facebook company name is a closely-guarded secret, known only to a few Facebook executives.

Question: What do you think Facebook's new name will be?