#FoundersOutFront Spotlights How Black and Latinx Female Founders Are Innovating During the Pandemic
digitalundivided, a social startup dedicated to the empowerment of women of color entrepreneurs, has launched a photo series called #FoundersOutFront, highlighting how Black & Latinx female founders are adapting to meet the challenges of the global coronavirus pandemic—even while working from home.
“Given how bleak the news cycle has been surrounding COVID and communities of color, we wanted to demonstrate hope and encourage our community to keep going,” Christina Brown, director of communications at digitalundivided, told Black Enterprise in an email.
“With the global pandemic leaving many in a state of doubt and uncertainty, we saw an opportunity to provide a source of hope and inspiration to a community of founders that is often overlooked.”
The women entrepreneurs include SaVonne Anderson, founder and creative director of sustainable stationery company Aya Paper Co.; Amanda Johnson, cofounder of Mented Cosmetics; Cyndi Ramirez, founder and CEO of new-age spa Chillhouse; Karen Rios, cofounder and CEO of universal banking platform Lifesaver; and Kelechi Anyadiegwu, founder and CEO of venture studio UjuuMedia.
Like many entrepreneurs, these women founders faced disruptions to their supply chain and the cancellation of live events and festivals.
“The majority of my sales were definitely from in-person events. I launched the business at an event actually,” Anderson told digitalundivided. “Even though I had an online store, most of my business wasn’t coming from online … it forced me to really pivot.”
The founders share the lessons of how they’ve adapted to the current environment, whether it’s been utilizing increased video content and live social media, employing better tech tools for e-commerce, or leveraging influencers or email marketing.
“The ‘Founders Out Front’ campaign was our way of shifting the narrative and showcasing the ever-present strength, tenacity, and ingenuity Black and Latinx women founders are exemplifying during this time,” Brown said.
“Through the lens of these five dynamic women, we hope to amplify the conversation around inclusivity, and ultimately make evident that Black & Latinx female founders are a vital piece of the ecosystem, worthy of investment.”