Boss Up Brunch Female Entrepreneurship And Empowerment: Get Involved​

Published by Ambar Alfaro on

Boss Up Brunch Female Entrepreneurship and Empowerment: Get Involved

Cynthia Benjamin, Folake Banks, Elisea Jones, Debb Akinkuolie, Ciana Koye and Nina Njie. Ambar Alfaro | Avant-Youth

Editor’s Note: This version has been corrected for grammatical and editorial clarity. 12:04 p.m.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on everyone. The research done by the Federation of American Scientist realized a report stating that “young workers, women, workers with low educational attainment, part-time workers, and racial and ethnic minorities had relatively high unemployment rates in April of 2020.” 

Six motivated women, all Atlanta natives, gathered their individual skill sets to plan a women empowerment and entrepreneurial event to give their community and fellow working women something to look forward to and help during this time of need. 

Cynthia Benjamin, Folake Banks, Elisea Jones, Debb Akinkuolie, Ciana Koye and Nina Njie  hosted and introduced their inaugural Boss Up Brunch “to give women something to look forward to and see how other women are making things happen for themselves especially now when something so unexpected has happened to us all. We need to be able to lean on each other,” said Elisea Jones, owner of Shady Enough Sunglass Boutique. 

A variety of vendors and seven female entrepreneurial speakers were chosen by the six women who put together this event, which had the purpose of giving the attendees some insight and guidance. 

Eager guests had the opportunity to walk around the venue where vendors were set up, purchase items and speak to them. All the vendors were female-owned businesses. 

The event coordinators offered mimosas to take the edge off of those who were nervous. The speakers were set up in a panel style, and later during the event, guests were given the floor to voice any questions, comments or concerns they may have. 

This event gave everyone attending a chance to branch out of their circles and network for their business or themselves, “putting them in a room with someone they’d probably never be in with, if it wasn’t for the event is a big accomplishment,” Cynthia Benjamin, a rental property business owner said.       

Suffering setbacks due to the coronavirus became a stronger, driving force for these women to put this event together. 

“The down time that we have to think about is what made me realize, the time is now for us to invest in ourselves,” said Folake Banks, owner of Beauty Bank Collections, who was also a coordinator. 

Socializing, making friends and networking is a whole different ball game now that we are in the adult world. Compared to when or while we were still in school, “making friends and networking was completely different. You weren’t thought of as a weirdo when approaching someone or creep when simply making conversation. 

The thought of making friends, meeting new people through a class or even at a bar because finals are over (and the bars were a big way of destressing), simply doesn’t compare to the ‘adult world,’ where you as an adult have to enter a social setting strategically in order to make the right connections and bonds,” Zoree Pooler a guest and new business owner said. 

“This is the first of our now two annual brunches that we will be hosting from this point on. The goal is to also take these annual events and go to different states with them for women everywhere. Even though these are our two main events, we also will be having our fundraisers and drives to help out our community,” said Debb Akinkuolie, a rental property entrepreneur. 

It’s undeniable that the new generation is living in a world full of constant change. From technological advances, civil rights movements to the current young college graduates, and the college graduates from up to three years ago are the ones drifting away from the “corporate job” obtaining mindset. Graduates learning to breaking economic boundaries and realizing one’s worth is one of the reasons that has lead the young working class to invest in themselves by taking risks–all in the interest of entrepreneurship, generational wealth and to break away from monopolies. 

Ayanna Howard founded Zyrobotics, a software development company targeted for children with special needs; Jewel Bruks co-founded Partpic-recognition technology that makes finding machine parts or even a car less of a hassle; last but not least, Tiffany Ray, founder of Generation Infocus, a STEM after-school program and summer learning organization promoting positive social change while improving academic performance. These are just a couple of examples that have influenced the six young women who put this event together. 

“The time and planning was the least stressful part. It was the constant worry or how fast we were putting it all together that might cause people to not even come,” Jones said. Success is not the word, accomplishing a goal of educating and helping women was the intent of this event. 

Guests drove from out of town and even flew in to attend this Boss Up Brunch. Their biggest reason?

Mainly for, “the women encouraging women atmosphere and support,” said Danielle Williams, founder of Dress Assur’d clothing line. 

The Boss Brunch six ladies, age range 21-27, will continue to put organize events like this in hopes of bringing an atmosphere like the website “GirlBoss” to real life. Especially connecting them to one another, providing resources, tools and education for them to advance. 

Lastly, these young women want to continue to empower and motivate women everywhere slowly but surely,–one self-empowering Boss Up brunch at a time.

 Keep up and follow these boss women on their social media and see their next boss moves: Folake, Cynthia, Debbe and Elisa.

Attendees of boss up brunch. Activity at the Boss up Brunch was the flower wall for women to take pictures by and feel beautiful. Ambar Alfaro | Avant-Youth
Coordinators or Boss Up Brunch. Ambar Alfaro | Avant-Youth
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Ambar Alfaro

Macarena Alfaro is a recent graduate in multimedia journalism from Georgia Southern University. She is originally from Athens, Georgia, and was proudly raised with her Lima, Peru, roots and culture. She is determined to travel the world and cover global news while doing so. When she isn’t glued to her computer, she is outside being a dog mom to the chubbiest chocolate lab, Mila. If the word “friendly” had a picture beside it in the dictionary, it’d be these two.

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