Supporting small businesses is at the core of CIT's mission, and we do that by providing access to capital and expertise across a wide range of industries. We are as committed as ever to empowering companies, communities and consumers to thrive.
This year, we created the Launch and Grow video series, a social media program in partnership with the non-profit Operation HOPE to educate small business owners and prospective entrepreneurs with tools and tips for success. The series was shared broadly through social, external and advertising outreach to educate and inspire those looking to launch or grow their own business as they heard from others that have gone through the process.
The videos feature a diverse group of small business owners – both CIT small business customers and Operation HOPE Hope Inside program participants – sharing their very real and relatable stories of entrepreneurship. The featured small business owners focus on key business topics such accessing capital, recovering from mistakes and leading through growth.
The ten-part series kicks-off with Operation HOPE's founder, chairman and CEO, John Hope Bryant and CIT's head of small business solutions, John Donohue, discussing a common challenge for small businesses – accessing capital.
CIT has previously partnered with Operation HOPE to offer financial counseling through the Hope Inside program in several of our California retail bank branches. This series enabled CIT to build on that partnership to support small businesses and deliver information to a nationwide audience in an easy and accessible way.
We produced ten-videos featuring CIT customers and Operation HOPE partners. Each of the business owners featured provides a diverse perspective on an insightful topic that aims to empower and inspire.
Chairwoman and CEO of CIT Group Ellen Alemany unveiled the Launch and Grow series at the annual Operation HOPE Global Forum in Atlanta in late March. The month long engagement campaign followed throughout April, in tandem with Financial Literacy Month, and included an extensive marketing, social and PR outreach in order to reach a broad, national audience.
In addition to the videos, CIT developed a number of resources to help business owners navigate the challenges of building and growing a business.
CIT gauged the impact of the Launch and Grow series by tracking website visits, social media actions and impressions, email open rates, video watch times and employee engagement. Results included the following.