5 ways freelancers and solopreneurs can build more inclusive businesses and a more equitable society

When it comes to business and inclusion, I used to think mostly of things like hiring practices, diversity committees, company culture… all things that don’t feel relevant to me as a freelancer and solopreneur.

My business is ‘just me,’ after all.

How can a tiny business like mine help create a more inclusive and equitable world?

The truth is, even the simplest freelancing business is made up of more than just the freelancer. My business includes:

  • clients
  • my services
  • pricing and business policies
  • my network of peers and collaborators
  • online marketing
  • the tools and products I use to run my business
  • my cats

Each of those areas can be looked at with a diversity, equity and inclusion lens.

(OK maybe not my cats.)

As freelancers and solopreneurs, we have more power and more potential to effect change than we realize.

Here are 5 ways to get started:

1. Educate yourself

Take the time to deepen your understanding of marginalized communities and systems of oppression. Really listen to marginalized folks when they tell their stories and talk about their experiences.

2. Diversify your network

If your network mostly looks like you, make an effort to connect with people from a variety of backgrounds and communities. Having a more diverse network opens you up to new perspectives and helps you make meaningful referrals and connections.

3. Buy from diverse founders and business owners

Commit to seeking out and supporting more diverse business by buying their tools, apps, training and other services and products to use in your business.

4. Make sure your products, services and marketing are inclusive and accessible

Don’t shut people out from your business. Use language, images and technology that are inclusive and accessible. You can start with Twitter.

5. Speak up

Use your voice. Call out racist, homophobic, sexist, ableist and other nasty, discriminatory behaviour when you see it.

To the small but mighty freelancers and solopreneurs out there: we can help to make our industries and society more inclusive and equitable. 💪

Build a better business

Better for the environment, better for people and—yup—better for your pocket.

Every week, I put together a collection of practical and thought-provoking resources designed to help us grow our impact as small and solo business owners. 

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