Visa launches program to help SMBs navigate NFTs and crypto
Visa has launched a one-year immersion program designed to bring together a global cohort of entrepreneurs interested in building their business with NFTs.
"Right now, some 50 million artists, musicians and creators of all stripes publish content as a full or part-time source of income," says Visa head of crypto, Cuy Sheffield.
"With an estimated market size of more than $100 billion, the creator economy is one of the fastest-growing small business categories.
To support this growth, we're launching the Visa Creator Program, an initiative that aims to help entrepreneurs accelerate their small businesses through non-fungible tokens (NFTs)."
He says each program cycle will support a selected group of entrepreneurs looking to deepen their understanding of the technology and platforms underpinning NFT commerce.
Growing a business with NFTs
Because NFTs can establish ownership and authenticity of digital goods and media, like images, videos, and music, they can help businesses generate revenue and grow.
"NFTs have the potential to become a powerful accelerator for the creator economy," says Sheffield. "We've been studying the NFT ecosystem and its potential impacts on the future of commerce, retail and social media. Through the Visa Creator Program, we want to help this new breed of small and micro businesses tap into new mediums for digital commerce."
Community and mentorship
The Visa Creator Program is geared towards entrepreneurs who are serious about incorporating NFTs into their business model, whether they've just minted their first NFT or have several successful drops under their belt.
Micah Johnson, a former professional athlete, the artist behind Aku, and one of the first participants to work with the Visa Creator Program, says, "In the early days of my NFT career, I relied on a community of NFT experts and advocates to ground me in this new world. I'm excited to work with Visa in providing that same type of mentorship to emerging artists setting out on their NFT journey."
Selected entrepreneurs will join a cohort-driven program designed to build and deepen their fluency in crypto commerce and traditional payments. The program is focused on supporting entrepreneurs in five key areas:
- Technical and product mentorship: Mentorship with Visa's team of crypto product and strategy leaders to cover topics including evaluating tradeoffs between underlying blockchain networks, smart contracts, and NFT marketplaces.
- Community building: The opportunity to exchange ideas and problem-solve with a community of entrepreneurs in various stages of their NFT journey.
- Access to thought leaders: Hear from leading-edge thinkers and researchers working across digital commerce, web3, crypto and payments.
- Exposure to Visa's clients and partners: Opportunities to engage with companies across Visa's network of clients and partners.
- Stipend: One-time stipend to help entrepreneurs kick-start the next phase of growth.
Supporting new forms of small business
The Visa Creator Program is part of Visa's efforts to help small and micro businesses gain greater access to the digital economy. Through community-based initiatives like the Visa Creator Program, and She's Next, Visa says it is focused on digitally enabling small and micro businesses through opportunities to access funding, resources and expertise.
"As the concept of 'small business' continues to expand and evolve, from mom-and-pop shopfronts to content creators and gig economy workers, Visa is excited to support the next generation of entrepreneurs in scaling a business and getting paid," says Sheffield.