WHO IS BROWN GIRLS CLIMB?
Brown Girls Climb (BGC) is a for profit social enterprise which strives to facilitate mentorship, provide access, uplift leadership, and celebrate representation in the outdoors and climbing for People of the Global Majority. Our process is adaptive and emergent with a focus on building equitable and just relationships in all the efforts we commit to, including meet-ups and mentorship, resource sharing and redistribution, and employment and industry practices. For the past five years, Brown Girls Climb has been made possible through a tremendous effort by Black and Brown women volunteers from our national and local leadership team and grew very quickly from an instagram to a community. Our community is wide and diverse and so are our needs.
CURRENT CHALLENGE (Capitalism & Wealth Inequity of course but here’s the details…)
Brown Girls Climb is a small startup which has been run by a number of volunteers the past few years while the foundation was being built. We are in a position now to grow but need seed money and real investment to do so . Without investment, we are at risk of closing our operation entirely as we cannot continue to operate ethically without compensation for those doing this labor. As an offering for your investment, we are developing a great new tool to help support you and your journey. There are a lot of challenges in the industry and representation on an industry level is one of them.
Over the years, BGC has partnered with a wide variety of outdoor retailers and brands (large and small). After three years of research, we’ve discovered that there is currently no outdoor retailer offering a values based approach to shopping. Here are the issues:
- Limited BIPOC, Women, Non-Binary, and Queer owned companies are carried at outdoor retailers and finding outdoor industry and sports related products are difficult to find in existing affinity based directory platforms, particularly from an intersectional lens.
- Identifying companies that are investing in social and environmental good is a challenge which has historically been done through word of mouth recommendations.
- Specialized gear and apparel, particularly for Disabled, Plus Size/Fat/Curvy, and Non-Binary communities, are notoriously difficult to find and limited brands may carry them.
OUR BIG IDEA
As a social enterprise, we navigate the capitalistic society we live in the best we can with the goal of redistributing funds and reducing harm where possible. We believe that everyone’s dollar can be a powerful tool for transformative investment and change and that’s why we created the BGC Marketplace.
The BGC Marketplace incorporates search filters beyond what you find in a typical retailer. We offer an option for you to filter brands by your values because let’s face it - the details matter. Search options include: Ownership (BIPOC, Women & Non-Binary (NB), and LGBTQIA2+), Fit & Style (Adaptive, Gender Inclusive, Plus Size), and Corporate Responsibility (Environmental & Social initiatives)
HOW YOUR SUPPORT HELPS
We’re asking for help. If we do not reach our goal, we will need to close our operations.
Our work has always centered around the people. This campaign is no different. We’ve made intentional efforts over the years to provide resources, services, and events that serve the people we reach and we want to continue that effort.
We’re asking for a year’s worth of funding to support:
- Staff positions: CEO/Director will be hired internally but all other positions will be open to the public
- Operational costs: Improved software for growing membership and BGC Marketplace updates and management
- Consulting fees: To help optimize marketplace inclusion efforts and tools
- Deliverables: Raw cost involved with completing this crowdfunding project
Goal #1: $85,000 - To staff full time and consulting positions to manage BGC Marketplace, memberships, and outreach initiatives and support shipping deliverables.
Goal #2: $100,000 - Cover website, software, and insurance updates for BGC Marketplace
Goal #3: $120,000 - Additional funds raised will be used to employ more community members to further support expanding operations.
HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT
We are so grateful for anyways you and your friends can support. Below are three options to get involved with this campaign.
- Become an annual member! (You can also see the Trail Blazer support section for a discounted membership!)
- Donate to this campaign (see rewards on the right hand side) .
- Share this campaign & help us spread the word!
If you are a company or small business and would like to be featured on the BGC Marketplace, please visit the FAQs section.
RISKS & CHALLENGES
Running a small business, especially as Women of Color, is always a challenge. We hope that your support can give us the foundation we need to meet the growing needs. There are always unexpected challenges and costs in new projects. We expect issues around language and accountability for partnerships and plan to incorporate options for transparency, review and feedback for the companies and entrepreneurs we feature so we can continue to reflect the needs of the community as best as possible. As we update our software and operations, timing for deliverables may also be a challenge. We’d also love to incorporate a commitment to annual donations for Land Back and others initiatives. Land and resource distribution is a responsibility of all outdoor companies. Lastly, meeting this goal will take a lot of support from each of you. Please share, share, share and spread the word.
With much gratitude and love,
The BGC Fam