UK record labels association, the BPI, today launches the BPI Membership Inclusion Programme – a new initiative aimed at removing any barriers to entry to the music industry for small labels and music companies run by diverse individuals from backgrounds that may not always have been served by the industry.
The scheme will see up to 20 labels and music companies either owned or run by individuals from underrepresented categories – including women, people from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background, people with disabilities, or those who identify as LGBTQIA+ – receive free Full BPI membership for a year and all the benefits this entails .
An extensive range of member benefits, which come with no extra charges, include: free access to the BPI’s acclaimed training and education (close to 50 staged in 2020 to date alone covering everything from digital marketing to understanding copyright); international business and conference opportunities; trade mission webinars in support of exports and business growth; BPI events such as Insight Sessions, as well as access to partner events at discounted prices; possible legal support and access to copyright protection; research and market insights; government relations engagement; access to the tech startup community via the Music & Tech Springboard Programme; digital and communications support; and more – full details here: https://www.bpi.co.uk/join.
BPI now invites applications from companies that meet the criteria , with a closing deadline of 6.00pm on 10th December 2020. The successful companies will be announced on 16th December and receive their free 12-month membership from 1st January 2021 (lasting until 31/12/2021). An application form can be submitted here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/C8ZJB75, and applications will be considered by an internal BPI committee.
Casandra Strauss, BPI senior Special Projects manager, said: “Everyone is rightly upping their game to more actively promote equality and inclusion across our industry, and the BPI has been working hard to make a difference also. Among other initiatives, we recently launched equality training aimed at reducing the barriers that undermine equality of opportunity for all, and we feel we can now build on this in a simple but effective way by offering 20 free memberships to companies from
underrepresented categories. In doing so, we hope to support the next, diverse generation of leaders.”
Paulette Long and Kwame Kwaten, co-chairs of BPI’s Equality and Justice Advisory Group, said: “2020 has further highlighted that there are so many talented people of all backgrounds out there that could offer so much to our industry, but, they can sometimes lack the support structure or network that would help them to further develop their career path or organisation. We welcome this new BPI initiative, which recognises the need to support future leaders, particularly those from
underrepresented categories who often have to overcome more barriers than most if they are to succeed.”
The BPI Membership Inclusion Programme will complement other BPI initiatives aimed at encouraging greater diversity and inclusion across the music community – including the BRITs Apprentice Scheme, BPI’s Equality Training Programme , and the BPI Equality & Justice Advisory Group , which was established earlier this year, drawing members from The BRITs Diversity Advisory Group set up in 2016.
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Notes for editors:
 Normally priced at £120 + VAT/ year + 3.5 per cent of PPL contributions).
 BPI Access Membership – criteria and terms and conditions
Applicants can only apply for or on behalf of a UK-based independent record label which is owned or run by (as CEO, MD, GM or other executive of equivalent seniority) a person that falls within one or more of the following underrepresented categories: Gender (Women & Non-binary), Race (Black, Asian or Other Minority Ethnic), Disability or LGBTQIA+. Existing BPI Members are not eligible to apply for the Scheme.
Read more about member benefits here: https://www.bpi.co.uk/join. By submitting an application, companies agree to be bound by the Scheme’s T&Cs, which can be found here: https://www.bpi.co.uk/media/2675/010-bpi-membership-inclusion-programme-terms-and-conditions.doc
If you have any queries on the application process or the scheme itself, please email email@example.com
 About the BPI Equality Training Programme
In light of the global events that unfolded in June 2020, the music industry has come together to reflect on and address how it can best serve every member of its community, in particular those from a black and ethnic minority background. At the BPI we are committed to promoting equality of opportunity and to supporting our members in the best way possible, and are putting on a series of training workshops aimed at helping our companies recruit, maintain and empower a diverse workforce.
See more details here: https://www.bpi.co.uk/equality-and-inclusion/bpi-equality-training-programme.
 About the BPI Equality & Justice Group (EJAG)
The Equality & Justice Advisory Group is a diverse/intersectional and independent board of respected music industry professionals, who collectively advocate for the progression of the Equality, Diversity and Intersectional agenda across the sector and contribute to steering the BPI’s Equality, Diversity and Intersectional work for its members, award shows, events and The BRIT Trust.
The purpose of the group is to work collaboratively and progressively, to advocate and push for positive (intersectional) change and representation across the sector, with an initial focus on race and gender, for the benefit of the music industry and its current and future workforce at all levels.
Members of the Equality and Justice Advisory Group are drawn from The BRITs Diversity Advisory Group, which was formed in 2016 to advise on how The BRIT Awards could better represent music industry diversity and inclusion and reflect the depth of British Black music.
About the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) – www.bpi.co.uk
The BPI champions the UK’s recorded music industry, safeguarding the rights of its members and of the artists, performers and label members of collecting body PPL. The BPI’s membership consists of well over 400 independent labels and the UK’s three ‘majors’, which together account for 85 per cent of legitimate domestic music consumption and one in nine albums sold around the world. The BPI promotes British music overseas through its trade missions and the Music Exports Growth Scheme. It provides insights, training and networking with its free masterclasses, Innovation Hub,
Insight Sessions, WidsomWednesdays events, and reports. The BPI administers The BRIT Certified Awards, co-owns The Official Charts, organises The BRIT Awards and BRITs Week, and is also home to The Mercury Prize.
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