Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey. It is crucial to surround yourself with like-minded founders and mentors who can provide you with the right resources and advice to set you up for success. This feeling of isolation is especially true for women-identifying entrepreneurs, who face additional barriers on their entrepreneurial journey, such as receiving less funding than their male-identifying counterparts.
In partnership with BDC, we spoke to women-identifying entrepreneurs from across Canada to speak about their unique journeys and the importance of community support in entrepreneurship.
Meet Anita Grant, founder of Hello Hair Children’s Book
What is your elevator pitch to the world? How does it improve the lives of customers?
The Hello Hair children’s book features 100 illustrated children’s hairstyles to encourage Black girls to learn, love, and build a relationship with their crowns. Through visual representation, Hello Hair showcases the importance of self-love through hair care and self-acceptance.
What is the “why” behind what you do?
My goal is to ensure that the next generation doesn’t have to heal from their natural hair experience but rather celebrate their crowns! Growing up, I had a difficult time loving my natural hair, and I know first-hand the impact it can have on your self-esteem and confidence. Now that I am a mother, I am committed to creating books and products that represent my daughter and young Black girls as they discover the beauty of their hair. My favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur is meeting new people, hearing their stories, and sharing my knowledge. I love that each day will present a new set of wins, challenges, and, most of all, lessons that continuously help me grow.
What is your big hairy audacious goal (BHAG) of how you will change the world?
My BHAG is to give all the lessons I’ve learned through my entrepreneurial journey back to my community (I Need A Grant from Anita Grant)! Through mentorship, funding and business support, I’d like to support the next generation of entrepreneurs throughout their journey. This vision keeps me motivated to work endlessly on the Hello Hair vision of being the leading resource for natural hair education, representation, and experiences. In order to truly connect and help the next generation of entrepreneurs, I first need to gain experience and go through the entire entrepreneurial journey myself.
What has been your biggest challenge in building your business, and what solutions have you found to overcome that challenge?
My biggest challenge is working IN the business and not ON the business. When you’re doing something you love, it doesn’t feel like work. You can move from task to task, have back-to-back meetings, and lose track of time. However, over time, this can result in burnout, confusion, and a lack of results. To overcome this challenge, I create a weekly roadmap that aligns with my business goals. All my tasks for the week are planned according to a strategy that is attainable, measurable, and results-oriented!
How do you stay on top of industry/marketing trends?
Whether it be through social media, newsletters, or conferences, I regularly follow leading businesses and influencers in my industry. I try to dedicate a few hours each week to educate myself on market trends and see how I can incorporate these changes into my own marketing strategy.
Are you more of a doer or a dreamer?
I’d say both, the dream doesn’t manifest without execution. That’s what I love about entrepreneurship! When you work and see your dreams become a reality, you realize that no dream is too big. You just have to be willing to go through the journey and the highs and lows to see it all the way through.
How has being a part of a startup support organization helped you grow?
My startup community has played a significant role in helping me grow, not only in a professional manner but also personally. I believe your mindset plays a large role in the success of your business, and being able to connect with individuals who are going through similar experiences brings me peace of mind. Entrepreneurship can be an emotional rollercoaster, but with a like-minded community, you’re reminded that you’re not alone.
What is a piece of advice that you wish you had known before you started?
I learned this lesson from my previous startup and have applied it to Hello Hair; your team and community are more important than funding. The support from a solid team and a network of established professionals builds credibility, breeds creativity, and elevates your business!
Where is the best place for individuals to go to learn more about you and your business?
You can follow us on Instagram @hellohair_book and check out our website: www.hellohairbook.com.