Women entrepreneurs in Chicago, let’s do brunch
Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the United States of America. In Tech alone, we are also one of the most underfunded groups. Across the board, women owned firms are growing 1.5 times the national average. It seems like as women, we are getting “in formation” and spreading the #blackgirlmagic, but the journey is still very lonely. To me, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Come out and connect, collaborate, and exchange with women in business across different industries (education, tech…www.eventbrite.com
I want to know more about the pulse of women creators in Chicago. Quite simply, I want to have a Girl Power Women in Business book club-esque situation. Nothing too grand, just a bi-monthly get together where women come together to promote our businesses, shop with each other, talk about our lives and work on achieving our dreams with focus.
To create this environment, I had to find business owners like myself and build trust with women I don’t know. How do I approach gender equal collaboration? When I find women owned businesses, how can I empower myself and the women around me to scale the impact we’re making? What considerations do I need to make? What am I doing that’s different and actionable?
15 brands later, this is what I learned:
Passion and persistence is a constant.
- In the past 6 weeks, I have been blown away by the women I’ve met and the impact they make. Precious Wright is always pushing for employment and advancement opportunities through her program, Kelley is bringing STEM to 5 year olds, Kikomo is bringing a different perspective to curated visual identity, Monique has permeated the hip hop retail sphere with Deeply Rooted clothing, Clean Slate Messenger is emerging in the Black Tech Ecosystem, organizations like WiSTEM at 1871 and 1919 at Blue1647 are providing resources and training with a focus on empowerment.
Forget the statistics, a lot of us are out here making something out of nothing.
- As business owners, women face challenges including funding, negotiating deals with producers and distributors, getting fairly compensated for our talents, competition, branding, networking, marketing, accounting, taxes, and talent. But we push forward and make a difference. Have you heard of the work Brave Initiatives is doing, tasted the cookies at Gimme Some Sugah, or listened to Blk Girl Soldier? You should.
- Did I mention funding?
If I am in the room, I have to introduce myself, my organization, and my vision.
- I am at the point now where I just approach people and introduce myself. I had to start to communicate what I was missing in my entrepreneurship journey. And slowly, but surely I met more and more people.
The biggest takeaway is that the journey does not stop with the month of March. I am setting new goals and will continue to seek out woman creators in business, community, and the arts. I am all about the collaboration and the connection. If you know a superwoman making waves, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will personally invite them to dinner.