Women Entrepreneurs Don’t Wait for Opportunity, They Create It
Entrepreneurship comes in many forms today, and as vice president of Bank of America’s Small Business Bankers, it’s amazing to see the many businesses that are created. As we celebrate women entrepreneurs for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day on Saturday, Nov. 19, women business owners have a positive overall business outlook and are confident in the companies that they are working to build. They are focused on reaching their goals even in the face of obstacles such as a lack of entrepreneurship experience or a background in business.
According to the Bank of America 2022 Women & Minority Business Owner Spotlight, women entrepreneurs are more likely than their male counterparts to say they are self-taught. While one-quarter are comfortable with their current financial knowledge level, most wish they were more knowledgeable about small business finances.
Bank of America Services
At Bank of America, we have many services to help small business owners navigate their journey and make smart financial decisions. We had the pleasure to provide our small business services to Love Adjei, an immigrant from Guinea. Adjei is an entrepreneur and CEO of Love Adjei Investments LLC, which involves real estate of a triplex and fourplex in Greater Des Moines (DSM). In addition to being in real estate, Adjei is CEO of a laundry service called Lappa Laundry in DSM. Love is ready to raise the business stakes through her many endeavors and utilizes her resources at Bank of America to do so.
According to Love, her experience with Bank of America for her businesses has been exceptional as she prepares to venture into another business of owning a laundromat and search for her next investment property for Love Adjei Investments LLC.
What also is amazing is that Black business owners are using their businesses to advocate for social change. Those who have made active pledges through their businesses are seeing benefits as a result, and 43% of Black business owners volunteer their resources through their active pledges.
Another Bank of America customer, Joy Hankins, Founder and CEO of The Joy of Curls LLC, is an advocate for the foster care community by helping foster parents learn about textured hair. Joy is a foster parent who launched The Joy of Curls in DSM after recognizing the need for clean hair products as well as textured hair education. In the beginning, Joy was told resources were needed specifically for Black children in care. She decided to use her hair styling skills to provide support in her community. Joy reached out to agencies that provide resources to foster families and now teaches hair classes through the Iowa Department of Human Services. The Joy of Curls also manufactures plant-based textured hair products for kids and caregivers and is a frequent vendor at the Downtown Farmers’ Market. Joy aims to expand her businesses by selling her hair products in retail locations all over the world. She recognizes that by having a business banking account with Bank of America and meeting with her banker, she has a great start to utilizing resources that will help her reach that goal.
In addition to our services for small business owners, Bank of America has a collaboration with Cornell University for women’s entrepreneurship to deliver an online learning portal that provides women entrepreneurs with the skills, knowledge and resources to build, manage and scale a successful business. Women entrepreneurs can register for the online program which is offered at no cost.
For women business owners, having to push through societal standards and make their mark in a remarkable way, by taking paths less traveled is becoming more prominent. Having resources such as Bank of America as a guide through their journey can be the push that’s needed to help change the world one business at a time. I am happy to be a part of a company that allows me the opportunity to truly make a difference in the lives of so many people here in Iowa, as well as look forward to all the possibilities that lie ahead.
The Greater Des Moines Partnership celebrates the Greater Des Moines (DSM) entrepreneur community and helps small businesses succeed with one-of-a-kind resources and opportunities for networking. Find out how other entrepreneurs have found success by reading their stories and attending local small business events in the region.
Rafael Colon Cruz is the Vice President of Bank of America Small Business Banker for the Iowa market.