DETROIT – The founder of a Detroit company has come up with a simple and affordable way to bring more attention to businesses that are run by women.
The concept was simple. People pay $35 for a book with coupons for more than 35 Detroit small businesses that are all owned by women.
Amy Peterson is the founder and CEO of Rebel Nell. It’s a jewelry company with the sole purpose of providing employment to women with barriers. She came up with the idea to sell the coupon books to support these businesses.
“What it is is making so many people aware of the amount of talented, incredible women-owned businesses here in Detroit and how can we support and uplift them,” she said. “Women are far less likely to get investment in their ideas and their business. You also have the struggle of many women, feel the burden of being the caretakers for their households and how much that has been impacted especially in COVID times where that stress has fallen on women heavily.”
The book is full of coupons that are good for the year. Each one gives people an incentive to try out the businesses. Chinonye Akunne owns Alera Apothecary. It’s a plant-based skincare company, operated out of a warehouse in Detroit.
“It’s honestly, being a female business owner is hard in general and then this year was even worse,” Akunne said. “We had a lot of trade shows planned and a lot of travel planned to grow the business. And all of that was stopped and so we had to pivot, not even pivot but adjust immediately.”
Akunne said the pandemic and the struggle only made her business stronger. She and so many other female-owned businesses in Detroit had to prove they’re as tough as the city they work in.