...And We're Just Getting Started!
Even before the pandemic and all of the challenges 2020 has presented, if you had asked us to describe entrepreneurship, we might have said that it is a constant fumbling in the dark trying to make sense of things. And that even with a well-defined strategy, it is a never-ending process of trying a lot of things and seeing what sticks.
We might have told you that it requires a bit of insanity… to be reminded daily of the status quo, but persist in your belief of the seemingly impossible. And that sometimes you have to abandon reality, and maintain a stubborn rejection of what is known and tangible to breathe life into your dreams and imagination.
We might have told you that it is a steady pendulum swing from “Who am I to be so bold? This can’t be done!” to “I’m a boss! Nothing can stop me!” This is a narrative not commonly captured in Instagram posts. It’s not very inspirational.
But this year in between fumbling around and bouts of terrifying uncertainty, we gained acute clarity of our place in the world and in our role in pushing our community forward.
This year we gave ourselves permission to be audacious and brave.
This is because we observed with increasing clarity how broken and inequitable so many of our institutions are: double-digit unemployment for black and brown communities on the backdrop of a record high stock market; a pandemic that has propelled e-commerce five years (yes, 5 technology-years!) ahead even as nearly half of black-owned businesses have closed; viciously polarizing social and political climates; and corporate institutions finally seeming to grow a conscience giving past-due and still-inadequate attention to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
And rather than try to reform broken things or operate in systems intricately designed against us, 2020 charged us with the heavy responsibility to innovate – as both a strategic priority and a moral imperative.
As we celebrate our second year and bring 2020 to a close, we want to share some successes with our community so as to give others permission to let their light shine.
This year, we demonstrated what it means to be a mission-driven tech company focused on socio-economic change: what we still believe to be central to widespread systemic change.
We created significant value for our community, and proved the impact of BIPOC businesses and the collective power of our dollar. On average, one single oneKIN order supported two to three small businesses and affected five to ten families. We then went further and pledged a portion of sales to organizations supporting black and brown communities.
Many days we left the confines of our homes and went beyond our day-to-day work to provide direct operational, marketing/PR, and technical support for our partners. We helped a number of small businesses keep their lights on, and, in fact, some achieved record sales.
We also laid the groundwork for our social commerce app (twiine TM) that, once launched, will help small businesses grow more aggressively, and save money. Money that can be reinvested in their businesses and communities.
This year, we gave ourselves permission to “act as if it were possible to radically transform the world…*” And we’re just getting started.