Seeing Black businesses struggle in 2020 was too much for Black Girl Everything Founder Dr. Gloria Pope. She felt she had to do something.
Pope addressed the feeling gnawing at her by creating an independent firm offering information, exposure, access, and community. Black Girl Everything uses Pope’s skills as an educator. She curates a pipeline of information designed to help business owners thrive. ” We did our first in-person event outdoors,” she explained to HelloBeautiful.
Pivoting With Purpose
Serving as a director for a “whitewashed” organization at the time she had the idea, Pope wanted to construct something impactful in a different way. “I realized that I just don’t want to do this this way for the rest of my life, and I made that commitment to myself,” she said.
Pope committed to herself and her fellow Black women when the world was making promises. In 2023, as programs designed to create pathways for Black success are being dismantled, she is not surprised that some of those promises have rung hollow.
“Of course, it became lip service because that’s what most things are, especially when it comes down to Black and Brown communities, especially with Black women, let’s be clear,” said Pope. “Black women are always constantly made promises of access, of opportunities, of growth, of support, of all those different things, then when it boils down to it, those things never come true.”
Diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts have been scaled back across industries. Funds dedicated to level the playing field for Black entrepreneurs face legal and economic challenges. According to TechCrunch’s Dominic-Madori Davis, “A panel of three appellate judges on Saturday temporarily blocked Fearless Fund from awarding its $20,000 Fearless Strivers Grant to Black women.”
“Black girl, everything is even more relevant now,” Pope declared.
Retreating Towards Connection
Pope added a retreat to the Black Girl Everything offerings. The goal was to bring the business owners she was working with together in a supportive environment. “We had speakers as well as great food,” she said.
She wanted to provide a space “where people could come together and just party and have a good time and learn something.” She accomplished that task with the help of her wife, best friends, and team. “This organization would not be where it is. If I did not have or surround myself with really smart people, really smart people who are willing and able to execute on high demand levels,” she said. “If you’re not around the right people, you’re not going to get anywhere.”
Pope encouraged participants to see where they could cross-promote their businesses there. “By coming together, you can build a stronger economy, especially on a small scale,” said Pope. “When you build that partnership, and you build those different connections, you start working together, you start realizing that things get a lot easier.”
Despite the landscape changing drastically since 2020 and the logistical challenges associated with event planning, Pope is still motivated to pursue her mission. She is working on the 2024 retreat and brainstorming for a fifth-anniversary gala in 2025.
“We’re planning for next year already,” she said. “And I still have that same feeling.”
Learn more about Black Girl Everything here.
Black Girl Everything Founder Gloria Pope Is Still Standing On Business was originally published on hellobeautiful.com
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