startGBC has the pleasure to introduce Juline Sutton, co-founder of Black Women United. February is Black History Month and the theme for 2022 is “Black Health and Wellness.” Black Women United’s mission is very similar to this theme as they aspire to create safe spaces that educate and empower Black women through strength-based workshops, fostering mental health and developing a positive sense of self.
Let’s learn more about Juline and her business in this interview.
About Juline Sutton
I am a Social Service Worker and graduated from George Brown College. Along with my co-founders, we started this organization, Black Women United to start conversations and build community among Black women and dismantle the stigmas that society has in place when it comes to Black women.
I have a BA from the University of Toronto where I specialized in Caribbean studies. I also have an SSW diploma from George Brown and the goal is to one day complete my masters in social work.
What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
I wanted to become an entrepreneur because I wanted to be a part of creating change. I am driven by my passion for community. I want to contribute to and be a leader in the change that I want to see around me.
Why did you create your business?
We created Black Women United because we felt that this was something that was missing from our community. Black women were very much at the forefront of the pandemic with little to no support around mental health. The stigma surrounding mental health in the Black community weighs heavily and we wanted to create a space to talk about it and make a change. We are working to build relationships with Black women and our goal is to continue to build on a local, national and international scale.
What successes have you enjoyed so far with building your company?
I’ve really enjoyed meeting with new women in our virtual conversations, also sharing our experiences. It has really made me feel like I am not alone in my challenges and experiences as a Black woman. We offer each other comfort and support, which is something that is not always there.
What is one piece of advice you would give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
“Stay the course, you will get there. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Hearing “no” isn’t a bad thing, it’s motivation to push yourself harder.” – Juline Sutton