Women-owned businesses are growing twice as fast on average than all businesses in the United States and are transforming the economy and male dominated business world. Being an entrepreneur as a woman takes courage, resilience, and the willingness to bet on yourself and the vision of your business.
Our KIPP alum business owners embody these values everyday through their work. And while it’s not easy to start and run your own business, having support and guidance from other women business owners can be valuable as you grow. This month on the KIPP On Learning podcast, three KIPP alum and now business owners share their advice for young women entrepreneurs launching new businesses. Check out their advice below and tune into the KIPP On Learning Podcast to hear the full episode of gems on March 22nd.
Nzali Scales, CEO of Zaza’s Kitchen – KIPP Metro Atlanta Alumna
1. Just do it and learn from your mistakes day by day. You’re never going to have everything altogether. I have some perfectionist tendencies and I want to study the heck out of how to run a social media campaign before I do it, or how to make the most copy that converts. But I think you don’t get a feel of your flow and a feel of your voice unless you really start to put things in front of your customers and clients.
2. Do something that you’re passionate about. I think that there’s so many money makers out there and I think a lot of times people do things for the wrong reasons. I think what’s going to be the most sustainable and what’s going to keep you going even on the days where it gets tough is doing something you love because you’re always going to be able to look at the impact. You may say, “That made me really happy, and I feel fulfilled.” And I think that is how you get longevity. I think sometimes there are these crash and burn business concepts because people truly don’t care about the concept or about the change that they’re seeking to make, it’s just about the profit. So I encourage everybody to really just think about, okay, but why you? Why are you choosing to do this? Because I think that’s honestly what’s going to help your business stand out, is people really being compelled by your story and your determination. And that’s only going to happen if you deeply care about what your business is about.
Ashley Copeland, CEO of Stacks and the City – KIPP ENC Alumna
3. Open your mouth and be loud. You can be loud and wrong, but you’re loud and learning. One of the key differences I’ve noticed is that men don’t seem to mind talking even if what they’re saying doesn’t make sense. They are still out here, but the more you put yourself out there, the more you’re talking, the more people are going to listen to you. That’s it. We’re pretty simple.
4. Start even if you’re scared. I find that more people procrastinate if they’re scared to do something, they want to do it, but they’re just scared so they just push it off. You have to identify exactly what it is that makes you scared and why, and then just do it. You’ll find that the fear slowly gets smaller and smaller.
Daisy Hernandez, Owner of Sol y Flor – KIPP SoCal Alumna
5. Have fun with it. Don’t be afraid to incorporate your own style. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Just go with it. Trust your instinct, and know that there will be challenging days ahead, but there also will be a lot of fun days and it’ll all be worth it in the end.
6. Connect and communicate with other women entrepreneurs. Don’t be afraid to ask them for advice. Don’t be afraid, hey, how did you do your own website, or how is Shopify working for you? It’s so important to connect and support one another. And so eventually also be that supporting person to the other women who are just starting off.
Are you a KIPP alum looking for free marketing for your business? Would you like to see the KIPP Network support and buy from KIPP alumni business? Submit your business information to the first ever national KIPP Alumni Business Directory here.