Be it India or developed countries; there is stigma around LGBTQ and people who identify themselves as non-binary folks. Even though legal equality is a stepping stone, but still, people belonging to this community are denied jobs. Hardly one per cent of LGBTQ-owned businesses get the economic resources and funding to launch themselves in the market. Sadly, the rest of the population sees them as either political activists or artists, but never as innovative business people bringing unique products or solutions in the competitive market.
As the Pride month is ending, we should not only highlight the efforts of the general brands and businesses that attempt to bring inclusivity with their marketing campaigns, hiring people and conducting fundraising events for the people of LGBTQ communities; but also celebrate the LGBTQ-owned businesses and their founders.
It is imperative that we support and spread the word about these LGBTQ-owned businesses as they need wider reach and word-of-mouth marketing to gain customers and build their revenues. It is a misconception that all Pridepreneurs are influencers or big public figures from the community. Many such businesses are bootstrapped and started by common non-binary folks. They need the network and organic marketing to stand toe-to-toe to compete with the existing brands in the market.
These businesses help to open doors of opportunities and create safe spaces for LGBTQ people to find jobs and earn their livelihoods away from stigma and toxic work culture. Many LGBTQ-owned businesses are creating niche products that address the issues by providing unique products and solutions.
LGBTQ Businesses That We Should Celebrate
Started by Ashish Chopra in 2019, today BeUnic is one of the biggest e-commerce and marketplace run by LGBTQ entrepreneurs. When it started in 2018 by selling footwear, the venture failed, and Chopra began to interact with other Pridepreneurs to understand their business growth.
Onboarding designers and artists from the LGBTQ community, BeUnic became an online marketplace where every product is designed and listed by Pridepreneurs so that they reach a wider pool of audiences.
Chopra said, ” We have four partners who help LGBT individuals get jobs; we have partnered with Queer ink to put up a list of Queer Literature that has been published in India, we have queer talent shows, and a lot more!”
Founded by Akeem Shannon, Flipstick is a Black and LGBTQ-owned business. Flipstick is a unique product for content creators and bloggers. The product is simply a paper-thin sticker that you can attach to the back of your phone and stick the device to any surface, such as floors or walls made of marble, wood, or mosaic. This solves the problem for nouveau content creators to buy and carry tripods and gimbals.
Shannon and his venture had been featured on Shark Tank USA.
Angelo Vegan cheese
Many metro cities in India have a large population of young adults who are extremely health conscious and prefer consuming vegan products. Angelo started as a venture to cater to the need of Bangalore’s vegan population and reduce dependency on dairy products. Founded by Angelo Aditya Fernandes, with his passion for cooking, he started the venture with India’s first vegan mozzarella.
- SW3AT Wellness is owned by Alyza Brevard-Rodriguez. The venture is a reputed wellness studio that specializes in holistic health services featuring infrared heat and salt therapy sessions. The business has scaled up beyond its two locations and started its own franchise with the inclusion of private suits that has infrared sauna blankets and a line of athleisure sold through retail and online platforms.
Phosphene is an independent LGBTQ and intersection magazine that caters to the South-Asian diaspora and represents their artistic voices on a safe platform. It is an artistic space that brings awareness to the challenges that LGBTQ youths face in South Asia.
Mason Dixie Foods
Based out of Baltimore, Mason Dixie Foods is a woman and LGBTQ-owned business. It offers better-frozen foods and ready-to-eat sandwiches, scones, and biscuits. The products are available in over 8000 grocery stores in the USA and even at select outlets of JW Marriott Hotels. The food items are made with real ingredients and taste more amazing than its competitive brands.
Let us support and make these LGBTQ businesses grow beyond Pride Month.