The Mission Driven Business Podcast Episode 67: Empowering Inclusive Entrepreneurship with Ebony Janelle

Brian chats with inclusive entrepreneurship expert Ebony Janelle. As an Empower by GoDaddy manager, Ebony drives GoDaddy’s corporate program that helps underserved entrepreneurs thrive. She manages the day-to-day operations that provide education, networking, and mentorship to small business owners from underfunded communities.

On the episode, Ebony discusses the challenges facing LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, including a disparity in funding and resources. She also shares the three pillars that entrepreneurs of all kinds can use to uplevel their businesses and how the use of generative AI can give small business owners some of their precious time back.

Episode Highlights

Mission-driven businesses support positive change.

Ebony defines a mission-driven business as a company that seeks to solve or change social problems, demonstrating responsibility for supporting positive change in the world. She’s proud that the company she works for, GoDaddy, meets that definition — especially because the work she manages within GoDaddy’s signature Social Impact program and Empower by GoDaddy are crucial components of GoDaddy’s mission to make opportunity more inclusive for all.

“The mission is actually what drives all aspects of the business,” she said. “Not only does it help local economies, it also helps build intergenerational wealth for families.”

Three pillars for success: Education, networking, and mentorship.

Empower by GoDaddy espouses three pillars to help business owners succeed: Education, networking, and mentorship. All three pillars are needed to “uplevel” entrepreneurs, according to Ebony.

“Without the education of how to run your business, you’re not going to have the opportunity to network or find a mentor,” she said. “If you don’t have the networking of like-minded individuals, you’re not going to be able to run ideas past them or improve your education. And without a mentor, you don’t have the necessary pathway to discuss areas of opportunity or talk through roadblocks.”

Use generative AI to get some time back.

Small business owners wear many different hats, and there’s never enough time to do all the tasks on the to-do list. Recently, Ebony has heard entrepreneurs using generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools, such as ChatGPT, to lessen the time it takes to do some of the more menial tasks. As a result, the business owner can focus on bigger, more important items.

“Using generative AI can really be helpful to your small business to automate some of the things that you may not have the time to do,” Ebony said.

Don’t do it alone.

Especially if you’re an entrepreneur from an underserved community, you may feel like there’s no one else who’s faced the hurdles you’re experiencing. That’s why it’s important to find a community of like-minded individuals.

“One of the things that a lot of small business owners don’t take into consideration is that there are others that have done it before you and can give you some practical advice to help you over the hurdle you may be facing,” Janelle said. “Don’t try to do it alone.”

Resources + Links

About Brian and the Mission Driven Business Podcast

Brian Thompson, JD/CFP, is a tax attorney and certified financial planner who specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who run mission-driven businesses. The Mission Driven Business podcast was born out of his passion for helping social entrepreneurs create businesses with purpose and profit.

On the podcast, Brian talks with diverse entrepreneurs and the people who support them. Listeners hear stories of experiences, strength, and hope and get practical advice to help them build businesses that might just change the world, too.