In today’s super fun episode, Sloan and Taylor discuss what it takes to build your business as a visionary CEO. They touch on leveraging funding for women-owned businesses, what the different types of funding available are, how to find your vision as a business owner and how you can decide your next move in biz. Find Sloan HERE.
Building Your Dream Business as a Visionary CEO with Sloan Echavarria
Sloan is the CEO of the Buffalo Ambition legacy brand. Sloan is a Funding Expert that is dedicated to closing the inequality gender funding gap by bringing access to money and opportunity to the feet of Visionary Female Founders so they could grow their businesses!
Sloan has been an asset in connecting international businesses and nonprofits with grant funding, sponsorships, and brand partnerships so they could grow their business and maximize their impact.
Through the podcast she shares grant writing tips, energy management as a busy CEO and homeschooling mom of 4 little beasts. She shares Kingdom entrepreneurship tips to help female entrepreneurs navigate their responsibilities with a rhythm that works for them.
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- What does hustle like a mother mean to you?
- “Hustle Like a Mother” to me means to risk everything for the legacy that I wanna build for my children and their generations. Everything that we do, we have to somehow tie it into what’s the legacy that we’re trying to leave.
- So tell us a little bit about your story. How did you get to be so passionate about this and what did your business journey look like as you were building your brand?
- [As] you mentioned at the beginning, I am the co-founder of the Buffalo Ambition Legacy brand. So that encompasses my business, Buffalo Ambition Co., which is, you know, closing in that gender inequality gap for women in funding. It also includes my daughter’s nail business and our beauty school.
- I was doing grant writing for non-profits and I was like, I could do the same thing for small businesses. At the time, it wasn’t something that was common, it wasn’t something that was talked about. And so for me it’s like, no, wait a minute. There’s women out there that don’t have the same opportunities as me. I wanna take full fledged advantage of everything that I have accessible to me if I’m bold enough to ask for it.
- I think you’ve said before that only 25% of women even start to leverage funding available to them or even go for it at all. So what are some of these roadblocks that are keeping us behind these lines and not pushing forward?
- I think number one, like we mentioned is the confidence to do so. I’ve noticed, especially over the last year as I’ve really dug into more market research with my community, women don’t even wanna call themselves CEOs. They don’t wanna call themselves business owners. Oh, this is just my little side hustle. This is just something I do for some extra cash. And it’s like, No, wait a minute. This is your purpose work and you’re impacting people and you’re changing lives – this matters.
- Number two, I think it’s just not knowing where to start, not having enough access to this information. Because right now when you think about, Okay, I wanna start a business, where am I gonna get the money for all of the shiny things?
- Where do you even start with trying to get that kind of funding?
- What I’ve done is I’ve created a whole matrix for women where they can pick their category and we’re gonna talk exactly how to do that and, and all the things. But basically you’re gonna sit down and you’re gonna say, Okay, I’m a mom. Okay, I’m a service provider. Okay. I’m a minority, I’m a veteran. And you can start looking for grants.
- The real golden nugget here is the mentorships that accompany the grants – because now you’re getting in rooms and spaces and in front of experts that you probably would’ve never been able to afford. And they’re pouring into you and you’re learning things that you really can’t be taught other than by doing. Getting in front of the right people is a huge part of running a business. Making those connections, networking appropriately. You know, having people listen to what you are passionate about is huge. And sometimes it can be really difficult to get in front of those people. So this is a doorway.
- Writing grants helps you be able to articulate exactly what you do in a way that’s compelling, in a way that helps you identify and speak to the market reach that you have and how much, what your margins are.
- You start by one being aware that there are trillions of dollars out there for you. There’s money for women in craft beer. There’s money for puzzle makers. There’s money for cosplay. There’s literally money out there for any interest, any passion, any hobby that you may have, any business idea that you may have. The question is, are you willing to set aside, be it three, four hours a week to go after that money?
- Where you start is really locally. Always start local within your business. Sometimes, especially if we are working from home and we’re remote workers, we sometimes think, well I’m not gonna be eligible for this because, you know, my demographic is so global, it’s so worldwide. But that doesn’t mean that with the right resources, you can’t do something locally.
- And that’s just grants, right? We’re not even talking about accelerators, which are programs where you actually would get investor buy-ins. We’re talking thousands of dollars so that you could get the manufacturer that you really wanted so that you can get the latest technology for your business that you’ve been drooling over. Like whatever it is that you need, you will have that mass growth in just a couple of months with this money.
- Now we talked about starting at a local level. So that’s things like your chamber of commerce to get more specific. That’s like your small business groups or minority business groups, um, women focused business groups. I also recommend to my students to make a list of all of the brands, all of the companies that you already spend money with, brands and companies like Windham or Hilton, Target, Trader Joe’s, whatever it is. I would make a list. Because for tax purposes, they often have a philanthropic division within their company. And in the past that was solely for non-profits. What I’ve seen as a trend within the last couple of years is now they’re opening sectors for small businesses because Covid-19, what it did is it opened up Pandora’s box to where small businesses are now like, oh wait a minute, I can get money that I don’t have to pay back for my business, for my employees, for my services, for my products. It’s always been a thing. It’s just more prominent now.
- What would your top then like three tips be for somebody who’s like, okay, I’m fired up, I’m ready to go looking for this. Give me three things to take away right now that I can go do today.
- Number one, like I said, I would reach out to your local Chamber of Commerce or small business group, so that you can find out what money they have available.
- From there, you’re going to receive their criteria. Take your time. If I had to give you a second step, it would be if you time block at all, I would block out two to four hours a week to actually do your grants research.
- Number three is really into create a strategy. Create a plan of, okay, within the next couple months, I want to apply to X amount of grants. I want to secure X amount. Only 25% of women are leveraging funding. And of those funds, 33% are actually being allocated to them. On a US scale, it’s only 2% of funding that’s being given to women. The more that we apply, then the more money will become available to us, but we actually have to take that step.
- Where can we find you on the internet? Where do you hang out? How can we come be your friend?
- So you guys can hang with me over on my podcast at the Nothing for Granted Podcast: Apple Podcasts | Spotify Podcasts | Podvine | Audible
- Hang with me on socials at Sloan The Beast: @sloanthebeast
- Website: http://www.buffaloambitionco.com/
- Lastly, I do have a free masterclass on how to get started for funding as a freelancer or as a founder. So you can check that out on my website: buffaloambitionco.com/masterclass