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Company Announcements

Hello Alice Staffing Diversity Report: Summer 2020

At Hello Alice, we strive to "walk the talk." When it comes to staffing, that means ensuring that our team reflects the diversity of the New Majority our company is committed to serving. Hello Alice aspires to hire balanced teams that properly represent women, people of color, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ+ and military-connected communities. This is especially important for us as part of the tech industry, which continues to lag behind in representation for women, people of color, and other New Majority demographics. Hello Alice hopes to be an example of progress. Every six months we review and share our staffing, board, and outsourcing practices to provide full transparency into our staffing. All team members are asked to complete a survey of basic demographic information, including gender identity, racial/ethnic background, military affiliation, and sexual orientation. Participation is voluntary. As of Summer 2020, Team Hello Alice — which includes our board of directors, consulting agencies, full-time employees, and contractors — is majority female and people of color. About 20% of our full-time employees identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community, and 13% are connected to the military, primarily through family members. No staff or board members are of Native/Indigenous descent — a clear opportunity for growth. Survey data did not include information on ability status. "We've built a team that reflects the diversity of the audience we serve, because it is smart business, and enables us to connect on a more human level," says CEO and Co-Founder Carolyn Rodz. "Technology may be the conduit between us and the small business owners we serve, but we never forget that there are real, unique, emotional journeys on the other side of that computer screen. Our experiences are threaded through everything we create, and that's made our business stronger as a result." Below, we break down the demographics of Team Hello Alice from top to bottom. Full-Time Employees Hello Alice currently has 17 full-time employees. Fifteen of these employees participated in this survey. 53% Female 47% Male 33% White 27% African American / Black 27% Asian 13% Hispanic / Latinx 13% Military-Connected 20% LGBTQ+ Leadership Team Within our full-time employees, Hello Alice has a six-person leadership team. All six members participated in the survey. 66% Male 33% Female 33% White 33% African American / Black 16% Latina 16% Asian 16% LGBTQ+ 50% Military-Connected Contractors Hello Alice currently has 10 contracted team members. Nine of these contractors participated in this survey. 67% Female 33% Male 56% Asian 33% Hispanic / Latinx 11% White Consulting Agencies Hello Alice works with four agencies: SpinMagnet, Motto, Accurate Methods Consulting, and Skai Blue Media. Answers below are based on knowledge of their teams, not survey results. 75% Female 25% Male 50% Black 50% White 25% LGBTQ+ Board of Directors Hello Alice has a six-member board of directors. Answers below are based on knowledge of our board, not survey results. 50% Female 50% Male 50% Hispanic / Latinx 33% White 16% Asian 33% Military-Connected Feature image: Team Alice gathers for a team retreat at the San Francisco office in December 2019. / Photo by Pocho Sanchez
Aug 25, 2020 • 2 min read
Company Announcements

It’s About Time for Small Businesses to Take Digital Accessibility Seriously

This week marks three decades since the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This landmark law has transformed the nation, making features such as building ramps and accessible parking spots normal parts of the country's physical landscape. But are you aware that this legislation applies to the digital realm, too? Not enough business owners know that the ADA sets forth certain digital standards, and other organizations such as the Web Accessibility Initiative supplement these regulations with further measures designed to open the world to the more than 57 million Americans with a disability. Until now, that included Hello Alice. We're not afraid to say that it's time to live up to our commitment to this oft-forgotten segment of the New Majority. Yes, there are costs and resources associated with changes to come, but each business ignores this issue at its own peril. In 2019, the United States Supreme Court handed disability advocates a huge victory when a blind man successfully sued Domino's Pizza after he was unable to order from their website.  It only takes one person being unable to use a function of your site to provoke a lawsuit. Wanting to make our sites accessible, not just comply with legislation, is more than just doing the right thing. This is about each of us taking a step to move the needle forward on breaking barriers to content for 20% of our population and providing equal access to all. It means creating a rightful path for the disability community to have the same online experience we all enjoy and to learn more about the Hello Alice community. To start, Hello Alice recently teamed up with The Viscardi Center, a world renowned organization that educates, empowers, and employs people with disabilities, as well as its National Center for Disability Entrepreneurship (NCDE), which empowers innovative self-starters with disabilities to self-employment success. Under their guidance, we've integrated the accessiBe widget to make our COVID-19 Business Resource Center clear and functional for all visitors. By clicking on the International Symbol of Access, or Wheelchair Symbol, visitors can adjust the content, color, and orientation of our website. This readymade solution can: Eliminate flashes and reduce color (for those with epilepsy) Create focus and reduce distractions (for those with ADHD) Provide assistance with reading and focusing (for those with cognitive disabilities) Enhance site visuals (for the visually impaired) Translate the site for a screen reader (for the blind) Enable keyboard navigation (for those with limited motor function) Hello Alice will also caption all video content and plan to evaluate options for CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) services to accompany our digital events. There are more long-term, infrastructural changes that we and other small businesses must undertake, too. This means adapting our core content — including PDFs, videos, contact forms, and more — to make it accessible, and designing website navigation paths so that our pages are clear and functional for those using screen readers and other assistive technology to browse. Per Viscardi's recommendation, Hello Alice is addressing these as part of our existing product roadmap. We will also foreground opportunities for the disability community, which has a significantly higher rate of self-employment. If you're a member of the disability community unsure how to start your entrepreneurship journey, we recommend reaching out to Viscardi's NCDE, which offers expert trainers, talented mentors, program modules, benefits assistance, and more. Together, we can create a more accessible small business community — one that fully lives up to the promise of the ADA's original intent.
Jul 24, 2020 • 2 min read
Company Announcements

Hello Alice’s Commitment to Black Business Owners

Feature image: Business leaders Shelly Bell, Takia Ross, Shay Johnson, and Deloris Wilson speak on a panel at Hello Alice's Circular Summit 2018. Dear Hello Alice Community, 33,102 of you within our Hello Alice family identify as Black business owners. To every single one of you and those you love: We are listening. To all business owners in our community: We are working to become better teachers of allyship within small business. Small business owners have always been the catalyst for positive change. Together, we are 150,000 small businesses building diverse teams that work differently than the ones before us. There is no better multiplier of positive change than our voices and actions as leaders. Hello Alice was created upon a fundamental belief that equal access to small business networks and opportunities unlocks the extreme potential of New Majority business owners. Upon our launch, we shared this manifesto, and stand behind it to this day. Like you, we are challenging ourselves to do better, to do more, and to speak louder. We welcome your thoughts and insights, and will be personally reading your emails at [email protected] When the world around us appears to be crumbling, it is each of you that reminds us that there is hope. It comes in the form of economic opportunity, diverse talent collaborating over new ideas, difficult but necessary conversations, and lifting one another up in good times and in bad. You, small business owners, are the diverse leadership that will create a brighter future. We are listening, Carolyn Rodz and Elizabeth Gore Hello Alice, co-founders
Jun 3, 2020 • < 1 min read
Company Announcements

A Look Inside the Hello Alice COVID-19 Business for All Emergency Grant Process

The COVID-19 pandemic poses an unprecedented threat to small businesses across the United States. Hello Alice understands how urgent financial aid is during this time, which is why we are providing full transparency into how we manage our COVID-19 Business for All Emergency Grant process. Timelines Applications for our COVID-19 Emergency Grants opened on March 26, 2020, with funding support from our partners at Silicon Valley Bank, eBay Foundation, and UBS. To date, we've received more than 95,000 applications from all 50 states that operate businesses in almost every sector. Applicants truly reflect all segments of the New Majority of business owners, with 64% of applications from women and over 58% from those who identify as non-white. We are also proud that thousands of U.S. veterans and military-affiliated entrepreneurs have submitted applications. Our priority is to distribute financial support as soon as possible, which is why we divided our review process into six rounds: Round 1 opened March 26 and closed April 9 (~17,000 applications received) Round 2 opened April 10 and closed April 23 (~22,000 applications received) Round 3 opened April 24 and closed May 14 (~16,000 applications received) Round 4 opened May 15 and closed June 4 (~12,000 applications received) Round 5 opened June 5 and closed June 25 Round 6 opened June 26 and closed July 16 30-Day Review Period As each round closes, we allot 30 days to review submissions and notify applicants of their grant status. While we have received more applications than available funds, we decided to keep applications open and portion out funding across the scheduled rounds. This is primarily in recognition that stay-at-home orders have been staggered across the country. It is important to us that those who were impacted last have the same opportunity to apply. Second, our data has consistently shown that women and people of color continue to lack sufficient access to networks and information sources to learn about funding opportunities. We’ve observed that opening applications for longer periods results in a more representative application pool. As for what happens during the 30-day review period? Well, the close of each round ushers in much of the real work from more than 20 Hello Alice team members. We’ve developed a rigorous judging process based on demonstrated need and proposed use of funds to choose the grant recipients. Selection Criteria Considerations include but are not limited to: How will this emergency grant be used to relieve expenses to survive the pandemic? How many people outside the business owner will be stabilized through the grant? Is there a broader community benefit in how the business owner is looking to utilize the grant? Is the business owner addressing a need specific to COVID-19 relief (vs. ongoing business need)? This includes ventilators, face masks, or any pivot that supports their community during COVID-19. Review Process The review process takes place in stages: A first-round Review Team considers applications. They review each application through a blind process using a rubric, with the highest-scoring applications advancing to a separate Selection Team. A second group, the Selection Team, conducts another round of review, and the grant recipients are selected. The total number of COVID-19 Emergency Grant recipients per round will be based on available funds. Hello Alice assembled the Review and Selection Teams to include members of the New Majority, with reviewers representing a variety of racial, ethnic, and gender identities, as well as a diverse range of age groups. This team also includes members of the military and LGBTQ+ communities; they call the East, West, and Gulf Coasts home. Hello Alice has committed that the vast majority of funding will go to women, people of color, U.S. Veterans, and other New Majority business owners. Recipient Notification Once we select our recipients, we notify each founder by email of the good news and work to promote their business across all of our Hello Alice social media platforms. Those who are not selected as recipients are automatically reconsidered for an emergency grant in subsequent rounds. Everyone who applies will receive access to our COVID-19 Business Resource Center, which offers up-to-date information, community support, wellness resources, comprehensive step-by-step guides on navigating government processes, additional funding opportunities they may be eligible for, and more. We are also advocating for you through your application. Hello Alice aggregates data from application responses to create free reports on how COVID-19 is impacting small business owners. While no individual data is shared, we pull trends we are seeing across sectors, gender, ethnicity, and other demographics to share with the government and enterprise partners to help guide their small business relief efforts throughout this crisis. Because the need for financial aid is so great and funding is limited, the Hello Alice team is aggressively fundraising to increase the grants pool through the end of the year. We are grateful that Silicon Valley Bank just increased their funding with a second contribution. Our partners at Visible and the Stacy's Rise Project have also made a generous contribution of funding reserved for Black-owned businesses in the remaining application rounds. You can find data and business biographies for each the grant recipients so far in a separate blog post here. For more small business grant opportunities visit the Hello Alice Funding Center. 
Apr 30, 2020 • 3 min read
Company Announcements

Mastercard and Hello Alice Partner to Amplify the Impact of Women Owners

Every entrepreneur is measured by their ideas. The right idea can turn into something priceless. Just as important? Finding the ideal mentors and resources so business owners can turn their concept into a thriving business and #StartSomethingPriceless. The day we launched, Hello Alice committed to sourcing every resource possible for women entrepreneurs. That’s why we’re partnering with Mastercard to bring more attention to the unique journey women owners face in starting and growing their business. Together, we’re introducing the Her Ideas Start Something Priceless community where members can access learning modules, tools, network, and more to support them as they follow their passion. “Women small business owners are already making their mark despite the challenges before them, and it’s our intention to clear that path so that their ideas can reach their full potential,” said Cheryl Guerin, executive vice president North America Marketing & Communications for Mastercard. “We’re creating a community for all and our hope is that any woman owner who can benefit from the advisement, mentorship, and tools we are bringing to life will join us.” Through the Mastercard Path to Priceless Initiative there will be a curated calendar of physical and digital advisement and mentorship opportunities. Working with some of the most prominent women entrepreneurs, including Hello Alice’s own Carolyn Rodz, they are sparking a year-long conversation with the goal of empowering female small business owners through conferences, panel discussions, networking opportunities, and one-on-one mentorship. “Capital and mentorship are critical to ensuring business for all,” said Rodz, CEO and co-founder of Hello Alice. “By partnering with Mastercard, we can bring the power of our platform Hello Alice together with their vast insights and resources to create a place that owners can come to when they have questions, need advisement, or just want to hear from others forging a similar path.” Women are driving forth businesses that are impacting their communities, society and the economy more broadly. Together, our goal is to amplify this impact.
Mar 6, 2020 • 2 min read
Company Announcements

Alice’s Morality Clause

Upon the occurrence of a Morals Event with respect to the Series Seed Director, the Series A-1 Director or the Joint Director (such director being an “Applicable Director”), if all members of the Board other than the Applicable Director notify the Company and the Applicable Director in writing that they wish to remove the Applicable Director from the Board as a result of the Morals Event, then the Stockholders shall, as soon as practicable thereafter, vote or act with respect to all of their respective Shares so as to remove the Applicable Director from the Board and such Applicable Director shall not thereafter be appointed or be eligible to be appointed to the Board pursuant Section 1.2(a), 1.2(b) or 1.2(d) of this Agreement, as applicable. For purposes of this Agreement, a “Morals Event” means an event, circumstance, action or inaction by the Series Seed Director, the Series A-1 Director or the Joint Director (including, without limitation, a #MeToo event, a racial discrimination, and/or sexual orientation discrimination) (A) involving moral turpitude under federal, state or local laws, (B) which might tend to bring to such Director public disrepute, contempt, scandal or ridicule, (C) which may embarrass, offend, insult or denigrate individuals or groups, or may shock, insult or offend the community or the Company’s workforce or public morals or decency or prejudice the Company, (D) which results in or is likely to result in actual or threatened claims against the Company, or (E) which otherwise may might tend to reflect unfavorably upon the Company.
Jan 13, 2020 • < 1 min read
Company Announcements

Meet Ramon Ray, Alice’s New Entrepreneur in Residence, at CES

Who is the most popular entrepreneur at CES? Ramon Ray. If you meet an ebullient man with a great voice shooting video at CES, we are proud to announce today that he is Alice's entrepreneur in residence. It is quite a first assignment to start at CES in Las Vegas. "Our top two objectives at Alice are to educate and advocate for business owners, there is no better person to lead this than Ramon Ray. We are honored that he has joined team Alice to educate the thousands of diverse entrepreneurs we support everyday," says Alice president and co-founder Elizabeth Gore. You may already know Ray as the genius mind behind Smart Hustle Media. He's started four companies and sold two of them. He's a best-selling author in the business space. Most recently, he gained note for last year's release of The Celebrity CEO. Ramon’s expertise in entrepreneurship extends to innovation in ensuring diverse owners scale. Yesterday, he led the CES event, entitled  "Diversity and Inclusion Roundtable: The Power of Partnerships." Ramon’s three points from the conversation were reducing investor bias, going beyond financial support, and proving that investing in minorities is a smart investment.   The former technology consultant is an authority on personal branding — in fact, he was an expert witness to the United States Congress on the topic. He also used his interview skills to chat with former President Barack Obama in the executive's first Google Hangout. Ray is a captivating speaker and will be representing Alice by educating owners at events across the country. But we're perhaps most excited to take advantage of Ray's expertise in video. Throughout CES, he will be making his way through Eureka Park, finding compelling founders to feature in helloalice.com videos that include Facebook Lives airing today and tomorrow at 2 pm PT, as well as future videos about the challenges and triumphs of entrepreneurs. "My passion for the last 25 years has been to help small businesses. Working with Alice is a great opportunity for me to help more companies and scale what I do," says Ray. "As entrepreneur in residence, my role to produce content and find content and showcase entrepreneurs is my dream of a lifetime. There’s nothing better than working with a platform and a company such as Alice that's there to help entrepreneurs. So if I'm helping Alice, I'm helping entrepreneurs." Look for more Ray at helloalice.com and across our social platforms on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Jan 8, 2020 • 2 min read
Company Announcements

Bumble, Phyllis Newhouse, and Serena Williams Join Hello Alice as Investors

We’ve already shared the news of the groundbreaking #MeToo clause that made headlines when we announced our Series A raise in October. Now we’re excited to add a new chapter to the story of Alice’s growth. Today we announced that Bumble, Phyllis Newhouse, and Serena Ventures, led by Serena Williams, have joined as investors in Alice to ensure every founder, no matter their background, has the opportunity to launch and grow their business. In honor of this announcement, Alice is paying it forward, providing a financial grant and mentorship to one small business owner who applies at helloalice.com. [Editor’s note: The application period for this grant has passed. Check back soon for more funding opportunities.] "Alice helps connect business owners to resources important for their individual industry growth. As part owner in the company, we are working to ensure that all underrepresented groups in business are given equal access to funding, networking and services that are vital to success,” said Serena Williams. Phyllis Newhouse, a U.S. military veteran and founder of Xtreme Solutions and nonprofit Shoulder Up, is also joining the round as a part owner and adviser. “Alice could not be a better fit for Bumble as we expand on our mission to create empowering connections in people’s work lives as well as their personal relationships,” added Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd. “At the end of the day, we work to give women the tools they need to make the first move, and investing in Alice’s platform – geared towards uplifting women and other underrepresented small business owners – is a great way for us to continue to get more involved in our local communities and ultimately help create positive change in the broader business community.” Bumble and Williams join SVB Financial Group, Silicon Valley Bank's holding company, Pendrell, Jean Case, Cathie Reid, Shatter Fund, and Signia Venture Partners in Alice’s Series A financing round. As part owners of the company, they will continue to expand Alice’s machine learning capabilities. Those provide the most curated business resources to Alice users based on their stage of growth, location, and industry. Alice is aggregating the most comprehensive set of SMB trend analysis and insights in the world, supporting our goal of removing barriers to vital resources for women, people of color, veterans, and LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs face when launching businesses. Not incidentally, these categories represent the backgrounds of our diverse investors. “Having business leaders like Serena Williams, Phyllis Newhouse, and Whitney Wolfe Herd as part owners in Alice has created a dream team of savvy investors,” said Elizabeth Gore, president and chairwoman of Alice. “We see our partnership as an extension of the work Serena Ventures and Bumble have already done to advance women and New Majority owners in business. We are thrilled to welcome their perspectives and input as we expand our reach into local business communities and bring forward business for all in 2020.” Welcome Bumble, Phyllis, and Serena Ventures! We couldn’t be happier to have you aboard. For more small business tips and inspiration create a free account on Hello Alice or subscribe to our weekly newsletter.
Dec 12, 2019 • 2 min read
Company Announcements

Alice Just Raised a Series A With a #MeToo Clause For Investors

We're proud to announce that Alice just became the first company to hold its investors legally accountable for their behavior. We are excited to say that we have closed our Series A funding, led by SVB Financial Group, parent company to Silicon Valley Bank, the bank of the world’s most innovative companies. It took our founders, Elizabeth Gore and Carolyn Rodz, long hours of work on each detail of the raise, but even while they did everything they could do to make the deal successful, they never swayed on their company values. That's why the terms of the raise includes a first-of-its-kind #MeToo morality clause. The clause reinforces the commitment of both Alice and SVB Financial Group to ensure that Alice board members and voting stockholders are held accountable for choices that could affect Alice’s workforce and community of business owners. The clause requires stockholders to use corporate governance mechanisms to vote for removal of any board member in the event of a "#MeToo event, racial discrimination, and/or sexual orientation discrimination incident." According to Gore, president and chairwoman of Alice, "As a company that sees the monetary value of inclusivity, we firmly believe that a #MeToo-type clause should be included in every funding agreement for every business in the country. Sexual and race discrimination is just plain bad for business." Alice and SVB are a perfect pairing.  President of SVB Financial Group, John China, says that he and his company are proud to support Alice and its work with helping underrepresented individuals to launch and grow their businesses. "The Alice team is taking an important step with the introduction of a morality clause and I expect to see other companies follow their lead," he adds. We hope so, but for now, we're honored to be breaking ground.
Oct 16, 2019 • < 1 min read
Company Announcements

The Evolution of the Alice Revolution

Written by Carolyn Rodz, Founder and CEO, Alice (www.HelloAlice.com) Hello Alice is more than just a technology; it’s a movement designed to empower every small business owner — no matter who they are or where they come from — with the resources they need to grow businesses that matter. It just so happens that our team is made up of small business owners ourselves, tackling the same issues that many of our customers deal with: building a team, securing capital to fuel our growth, market outreach, and leveraging partnerships to help us scale faster. We are driven by our mission, to help New Majority small business owners find their own unique path to start and grow their company. It is because of this mission that our company-related decisions center around one simple question: what is in the best interest of New Majority business owners? During a recent team retreat, we reflected on the progress of our product since our launch date, partially to get new team members up to speed on why we think about things the way we do, and partially to celebrate our progress. (As any entrepreneur knows, you have to celebrate the wins as fuel to survive the failures!) As we reflected back on how, and why, our product evolved, I thought some of those learnings might be helpful for you in your own entrepreneurial journey. Lesson #1: Keep It Simple Our feature set has evolved tremendously since our May 2017 launch. It’s hard to believe it’s only been 19 months since the world met Alice, and just over one month before that when Alice adopted her first line of code. There have been a lot of iterations in between, but we actually did a few things right all the way back then. Notably, you all told us that it’s best to keep things simple. As we expanded the number of resources on Alice, the classification of those resources, the topics we cover (everything from cybersecurity to small business owner health and wellness), and the features we offer, we realized that we actually needed to boil it down to the basics. Now, instead of a conversational interface, you’ll see checklists and Alice voice boxes to help you find what you need, when you need it — but it’s moved back to that simple, easy-to-follow format (albeit with a whole lot more substance than that original, logo-less homepage). Anticipate a whole lot more of Alice’s thoughts in 2019, because, now that she has found her voice, she’s stepping up to make it heard and to help you navigate this ever-changing entrepreneurial world. Current homepage of www.HelloAlice.com for logged in users as of December 19, 2018 Lesson 2: On the Ground is Where It’s At Like many startups, we sought out easy-to-implement solutions offering the most value first. We implemented digital resources (lots of articles, templates and tools) that applied to all business owners. As we reviewed what you were clicking on though, it became quickly apparent that you are seeking opportunities and support right in your own backyard. That revelation led to the development of small business city guides, which essentially serve as the Lonely Planet for entrepreneurs. It’s a digital, access-anywhere resource that breaks down the best of what you need in your city, like where to pop in for a meeting with a mentor or who to talk to to secure a small business loan. It even tells you what events are coming up. Alice Small Business City Guides offer a guide to small business resources in cities worldwide We recognize that not every entrepreneur has what they need in their own physical community, though, which is why every business owner has access to all of the city guides. This is a feature I personally use quite often, as it allows me to fill in those travel gaps when I’m on the road, meeting other entrepreneurs, and learning about what makes a particular city’s environment unique. Which leads me to my next learning… Learning 3: Disaster Happens Since launching, our team has been hit with a series of natural disasters, from Hurricane Harvey in Houston (where I and a handful of our team are based), to the California wildfires (affecting our teams in Sonoma and San Francisco), to a Bomb Cyclone in Washington, DC, which forced us to shut down Day 2 of our last Circular Summit. All things considered, we are among the lucky ones, though, because many of the small businesses supported by Alice have been severely impacted. It was our own first-hand experiences, and the stories of so many business owners we spoke to in our local environments, that inspired Alice’s disaster recovery toolkits, built right into our city guides. This also opened the door to us thinking about all of the unplanned aspects of running a business, like an employee terminating, parental or medical leave, shifts in the work/life juggle, and more, so expect to see lots of help from Alice in the future on how to deal when disaster strikes. Learning 4: Test on the Desired Audience, not the Current Audience From our start, the entire Alice team made a commitment to execute 100% of our user testing on New Majority business owners: women, people of color, veterans and veteran families, immigrants, LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, rural populations, and others who aren’t sufficiently served by the existing entrepreneur infrastructure. We didn’t want to build another technology open to all, but tailored to few, so we flipped the paradigm and decided that we would forever ensure that our features, tools and technologies were of benefit to the New Majority. I’m proud to say that this decision has resulted in over 93% of our registered users identifying as part of the New Majority. This disruption to the status quo becomes even more evident when you consider that most technology platforms geared toward the small business and startup communities are 70% or higher (often upwards of 90%) white and male. Buh-bye, pipeline myth. Learning 5: Everyone is an Expert Finding a mentor seems to be a mandatory step for business owners these days, but entrepreneurs registered on Alice indicate differently. More than an “expert” who achieved a goal years ago, owners want to talk to someone like them, in a similar situation, who achieved a desired goal just months earlier. Through these connections, the most tactical advice is being offered. It is that “peer + one level up” connection that Alice is focused on creating, because that’s where the real magic happens. Alice User Profile: Entrepreneurs can choose to accept introductions via the “Alice, Introduce Me!” button, and also share expertise, making them easily found at relevant points along the small business journey. Learning 6: We Are a Gateway to Humans, Not a Substitute for Them Alice never set out to be a social network (nor do we consider ourselves one…Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter all do a great job at that). But we did learn that true success happens when we lead entrepreneurs to relationships that matter. Sometimes that happens through introducing them to a workshop, event or program where they meet someone who can open doors. Other times, it’s directly on HelloAlice.com. However it happens, we saw what a huge difference a sense of community makes to small business owners, which is why we initiated the evolution from a pure, but smart, resource directory, to the entrepreneur’s ultimate super-connector. It’s also why we launched the Communities feature on Alice — an opportunity for people to connect based on organizations, cities, affinity or other commonality. These are still in beta, but you’ll see tons of new changes coming around the corner. Communities on Alice When we built small business communities, we didn’t want to just create a networking opportunity; a goal was certainly to keep business owners in the loop on everything happening across their networks in one single place, but also to learn more about what catapults entrepreneurs forward. Are certain organizations outperforming others? If so, why? Are business owners who join three or more communities more likely to succeed? We are constantly looking to learn — and share — what works in this complex and ever-changing world of entrepreneurship. We also learned that the burdens of organizational leaders — both at the community and government levels — are a massive barrier to serving entrepreneurs. As a result, we decided to lift a lot of those burdens. Alice automates email exchanges, recommends content to share, and more, for the community administrators she supports. Communities on Alice are open to all, so just contact us at [email protected] to start one of your own. So, there you have it… As you can tell, Team Alice has been busy, and it’s all because of you. Nineteen months later, this movement is becoming unstoppable. Together, we are well on our way to broadening the support for small business owners and to showing the world that entrepreneurship comes in all shapes, colors and sizes. The New Majority has a seat at the table, and that’s good for everyone. There is so much more for us to uncover, so if you have ideas on how Alice can better support New Majority entrepreneurs, we always are here to listen.
Dec 18, 2018 • 6 min read