Diversity in Entrepreneurship
Diversity is a buzzword within organizations and companies, but now more than ever with the emphasis on racial issues, many companies have been prompted to not only recognize their lack of diversity and inclusion but also implement changes to be the true ally that they claim to be.
CO+HOOTS understands the need for equity and inclusion within the workplace and specifically in the realm of entrepreneurship. As a minority owned business, we recognize that other minority owned businesses not only need resources and tools but a community of like-minded individuals to help their passions thrive. We offer this through our coworking community and curated events for local businesses owners.
With the rise in racial tension, in June 2020 we began a campaign titled “Amplify Black Voices” where we partnered with other organizations to highlight local black businesses and their contribution to the valley. We wanted to raise awareness of these talented individuals and share their story to our community.
During this campaign we were able to connect with phenomenal local businesses owners and now have the privilege to share their experiences with you. Our goal is to continue to shed light on the voices of undervalued and underrepresented communities and we plan on doing this through our “Diversity in Entrepreneurship” campaign.
To kick off this initiative we are sharing 8 local businesses that we connected with through the “Amplify Black Voices” campaign and sharing their perspectives as a black entrepreneur.
“The journey of an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart so be willing to roll with the highs and lows.”
Owner and Visionary
She started 3Jay productions in 2006. A multi-faceted firm of professionals that caters to those in the beauty, fashion, and entertainment industries.
“You can really do anything you put your mind to, and you don’t have to be a super special person on this planet to do something awesome. You can really do whatever you want to do to the capacity of how far you want to take it, it just solely depends on you as an individual.”
Advance and Emerge Women
Aaliyah is the founder and president of a non-profit organization called A & E Women. Her organization focuses its efforts on the social and professional advancement of women.
“Most people appreciate the colors, vibrancy and unique styles of African inspired fashion however it is appreciated at a distance. I consider organizing fashion shows as important in helping to tell the story of the clothing.”
Zoe is the owner of SARABO is a Fashion House and Consulting company that supports designers and artisans with promoting and branding their creations.
“Without self love, happiness is hard to achieve.”
Blogger and Owner
Food of Joy Blog, Always Hungry Aprons
Joy is a gourmet food enthusiast, model, and eating disorder survivor. After overcoming anorexia and bulimia the kitchen became her safe space.
“It’s not that black people are not educated , experienced or have talent. They just are not selling themselves.”
Cyntoni Miller and Saiduo Diallo
Black on the Job, Jobbee Academy
Cyntoni and Saiduo are the founders of Black On The Job and Jobbee Academy. Their purpose is to inspire forward momentum in each person’s career using mentoring, skills enrichment and community engagement.
READ Q+A WITH CYNTONI MILLER AND SAIDUO DIALLO
“I was always trying to do different styles on my dolls or even sometimes using my younger brother as a model. I feel like it was a passion that was instilled in me at birth.”
Renata is a hair guru and licensed cosmetologist with over fourteen years of experience. She has been a fully independent entrepreneur for the past 6 years and has plans for more beauty-related entrepreneurial endeavors in the future.
READ Q+A WITH RENATA HENDERSON
“ I’m not in competition with any other illustrators. The thing that no one can take from anybody is themselves, their personality and creative expression. So I can’t copy the next illustrator, if anything I feel like we’re a team.”
Stormy is a passionate graphic designer and visual storyteller currently working as a digital graphic designer.When she’s not knee-deep in design or illustration, you can find her online shopping and eating French fries and pasta around the clock.
“Our culture is beautiful, & strong. Often imitated, never duplicated. Hair is such a big way we express ourselves. Especially as black women. “
Curly Hair Specialist
She let go of her hot tools and discovered her natural texture is something to be loved and embraced. She now helps her clients love their natural texture and it is one of the most rewarding things she’s able to do day in and day out.
READ Q+A WITH MARTINA NICHOLAS