Mailchimp aims to close gaps and create a sense of community with an editorial business resource for entrepreneurs of color, called Bloom Season. It launched January 13 with the purpose of the digital collection to provide guidance for starting, running and growing a business.
The project was created with the help of Kin, a creative agency co-founded by Kwame Taylor-Hayford.
Bloom Season provides perspective on how to achieve a balance between one’s personal life and professional life, all while still innovating for the future. The inaugural edition is focused on the unique challenges Black entrepreneurs face, with contributions from Jewel Burks Solomon (Collab Capital and Google for Startups), Joy Harden Bradford (Therapy for Black Girls), Ryan Wilson (CEO & co-founder of The Gathering Spot) Jon Gray (Ghetto Gastro and Gastronomical).
According to Senior Director of Brand Marketing for Mailchimp, Michael Mitchell, the initial idea for Bloom Season originated from the protests that took place across the country in 2020 after the death of George Floyd.
“[The general idea was] to figure out how Mailchimp could do something meaningful for a Black entrepreneurial audience,” Mitchell said. “Since our main audience is focused on small businesses and entrepreneurs, how could we sort of authentically participate in the conversation but also focus on helping as best as we can.”
Mitchell and Taylor-Hayford are committed to leaving a positive impact on helping entrepreneurs of color and help them realize their potential. While speaking with Black business owners at various stages of their business journeys, they found three common obstacles in their way- isolation, alienation and mistrust.
“[Black business owners] were facing a challenge around isolation and feeling very much like they’re out on their own, or that they’re the only ones,” Taylor-Hayford said. “There’s a challenge around alienation, and this idea that if you’re a Black entrepreneur, somehow your business is only for Black people, and not for the general public. And the last one was a lot of mistrust. So many brands and companies had shown up post George Floyd and said they wanted to have an impact and do something positive for the community, but very few had.”
The date for the next edition has yet to be announced. Kin and Mailchimp are more concerned with making something meaningful for the BIPOC community, rather than the time it takes.
Mitchell describes Bloom Season as a step in a long-term plan from Mailchimp to invest in the growth, education and success of diverse entrepreneurial groups.
“Bloom season isn’t going to solve every problem,” Mitchell said. “It’s not a silver bullet. But it is a step in the right direction to offer practical business advice for a specific audience, from the perspective of an audience, and to offer and to also speak to wellness and mental health for entrepreneurs as well. So we’re not strictly focused on profit and loss and business growth, but also personal growth as individuals and as business people.”