Helping you start, expand or purchase an early-stage, non-tech business
Rochelle, Tosin and Jada, Beauty Braids & Beyond Co-Founders
What is your business?
Beauty Braids & Beyond is an e-commerce beauty supply retailer aiming to provide adequate knowledge of how, when, and why to use products meet black women’s unique hair, skin, and beauty needs. Our vision is to become a cutting-edge beauty supply retailer that works to break down the barriers of beauty for black women across the globe.
Why did you start your business?
There is a disparity in the beauty supply industry in addressing the concerns of women with textured hair. Our business addresses this through education to ensure our clients can make informed decisions when purchasing products to address their needs.
Tell us about yourself as an entrepreneur.
Our three co-founders all have different strengths and weaknesses. Together, we make an effective team. Passion and determination are our shared values as co-founders. And we are all committed to continuous learning, researching, improving, and developing as business owners to ensure we launch an impactful and sustainable business.
When did you launch your business?
We will be launching Beauty Braids & Beyond in an official capacity in September 2021.
Where do you see your business in 3 to 5 years?
We aim to be a highly visible brand expanding into the global market. We hope to evolve our business through the development of a mobile app, consistent marketing, continuous research, and the development of a full hair care line.
What did you learn from the Starter Company Plus program?
You can accomplish anything you put your mind to. This program allowed us to focus our time and efforts on developing a sustainable and impactful business. By the end of this program, we felt 100 steps closer to making our dreams a reality, for which we are forever grateful.
What advice would you give other entrepreneurs who are starting their businesses?
Take time to create a solid plan for yourself and your business. This will help you to proactively identify gaps before it’s time to execute.
Also, there is nothing stopping you from starting your business but you. Like Nike says, “Just Do It”!
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Frequently Asked Questions
BIPOC as Starter Company Plus’ 2020 priority?
At Invest Ottawa, we know that diversity, inclusion and belonging are critical success factors for globally competitive organizations and are required to drive sustainable wealth creation and prosperity across our region. As an organization that doesn’t simply accept differences, but celebrates and supports it, we prioritize the creation of an inclusive culture and infuse diversity into our programs, operations and governance. As has been widely identified, racialized people face significant barriers in accessing resources necessary for starting and growing successful businesses. In a 2017 survey on ownership demographics of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in Canada, data shows that only 13.6% of businesses are majority-owned by BIPOC. Of this 13.6%, only 3% of businesses are majority owned by BIPOC women. We at Invest Ottawa have recognized this gap, and as such are delivering Starter Company Plus 2020 to specifically help address the needs of racialized people and help close the equity gap in our local entrepreneurial landscape
2SLGBTQ+ is an acronym used to refer to people, as a group, who identify as Two Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Trans, Gender Independent, Queer and Questioning. The plus sign acknowledges the many sexual and gender minority people who don't see themselves in the umbrella acronym and prefer other identity terms such as pansexual, gender-free, or intersex.
The word "womxn" is an alternative term to the English language word "women." We use this term to explicitly include those who identify as women, transgender women, women of colour and non-binary individuals. This choice supports our concerted effort to create a culture of belonging.
This program is made possible through funding from the Government of Ontario.