Hailing from rural Montana, Mark Nelson and Bob Marsenich have recently launched LGBT Prosper, a site devoted towards both LGBT equality and business prosperity.
One of the most interesting points of this partnership is that both of these entrepreneurs are non-LGBT. Their passion for equality and justice were the major forces driving their inspiration towards the project. Additionally, they chose the LGBT community based upon the high level of support that the market gives to one another.
“We think that there is a lot of power with non-LGBT people advocating for this community,” stated Mark Nelson. “Basically, it’s the right thing to do and we have to work ‘together’ to be equal.”
LGBT Prosper offers their clients the ability to set up storefronts and list their services that is targeted directly towards the Gay community. In addition, 3% of the proceeds are directed towards an LGBT non-profit which is voted on by the site’s visitors. In increments of $10,000, the first installment will be sent to the HRC Workplace Project.
Their “storefront” concept is unique to LGBT media. Based upon the models created by Amazon and Ebay, LGBT Prosper offers clients the ability to sell the products and services through the site and help the community at the same time. The owners have created a system where buyers can pay for the items via paypal or by credit card that is hosted by LGBT prosper. Sellers will pay a 5.9% transaction fee and list their items for 20 cents each.
Each client that comes on board is required to sign an Equality Agreement that states that the company is both non-discriminatory and supports LGBT equality.
Although launched only recently, the entrepreneurs have already made outreach to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, (NGLCC) where they are corporate members. They have already begun marketing their site towards NGLCC members and are intent on expanding their campaign as they go.