In this day and age, one would think that it’s not difficult for people under the LGBTQ+ umbrella to do business in any field or launch a startup firm. In that assumption, one would be close but not completely right.
This is an age that is allowing people to express themselves much more freely than ever before. But, still, there are obstacles to be avoided or resolved. In this article, we will try to explore some ways of making LGBTQ+ business owners’ and entrepreneurs’ work easier. Moreover, we’ll see how to open startups more smoothly, how to handle trade finance and cooperation with similar or different companies, and so on.
So, what makes LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and businesses different?
One would also say that there are not many differences between business owners that are straight and those that are out. Still, there are a few things to consider.
For example, not every part of the world is tolerant to openly LGBTQ+ people, even if it is 2022, and even if a country officially guarantees equal rights to every citizen. So the location is sometimes very important.
Some people just don’t feel safe enough to handle their business without having to sidestep or keep secrets. In business, there shouldn’t be such distractions, so openly LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs are more likely to open a startup or look for a job in places that are known to be more open, like California, the Netherlands, etc., not bothering themselves with unnecessary distractions.
2. Personal relationships
This factor is also somewhat related to location, but also to the issue of being open while publicly promoting a company. The owner is more likely to be in the center of attention than other workers, so they are often seen with their partners. Therefore, it is preferable that they operate business, trading, and trade finance in safe and open surroundings.
Being “out and proud” may or may not influence the performance of a company, but the owners still watch out for obstacles as well as how and where they communicate openly.
What about some ways to successfully run your LGBTQ+-owned company?
As promised, here are some tips and easier ways to launch and run your company, improving day by day, while we wait for the world to finally treat every business as a business, not minding that “queer” part.
1. Stay focused on what’s important
Staying on course on the way to your goals is something crucial. Not all companies can be located in the perfect environment and not all partners will be de facto tolerant towards every minority, but your goals stay the same. Finding new partners as well as investing in trade finance and in new public campaigns is possible in almost any case. Goals may change from time to time, of course, but ways to make breakthroughs are always there.
2. Supportive and open workplace
To truly make a business go forward and stay on top, in 2022, businesspeople are encouraged to create an inclusive surrounding, where every worker – no matter what is their sexual or gender orientation, race, religion, or physical appearance – will be treated the same. That will not only make the workplace much happier and the workflow much smoother, but it will also take your firm to a higher level in today’s world.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that people should be hired based purely on diversity, as being a minority is not a ticket for a new job. They should always be hired if their qualifications match the position that needs to be filled in a company. A supportive workplace only means that, from the moment they are hired, they are doing their job in a place where they will not be targeted for anything named above.
3. Proper funding is a must
LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs feel like it’s almost impossible to get resources when they are working on their startup, since it seems that certain communities have been put first. But, luckily, that is shifting into the past every day. If you are having difficulties at first, there are always systems and organizations that offer loans that could help businesses that are having difficulties in getting traditional loans. Institutions dealing with community development can also often help low-income or slow-growing businesses. In most developed countries, there are always NGO nonprofits specialized in helping LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, offering different resources, and connecting investors with LGBTQ+-owned businesses.
4. LGBTQ+ network events are always helpful
Regular interaction with other LGBTQ+-owned companies, clients, investors, etc., is something that is of the essence. Therefore, you can find lots of networking events you might be interested in. It helps with connecting and supporting each other and finding new ways to grow together as well as individually.
5. Be ever-present on social media
Many well-known LGBTQ+ business owners are getting even more support and recognition through different social media platforms. People like Alicia Garza (co-founder of “Black Lives Matter”), Tim Cook (CEO of Apple), and Angelica Ross (CEO of TransTech Social Enterprises) are very openly presenting both their orientation and businesses on their social media accounts, making those two things build each other up and normalizing LGBTQ+ run businesses around the globe. Depending on the follower count (and cooperating with other accounts), you can influence both other existing businesses and startup companies to thrive, making this world an easier place to work in.