Gig Wage Customer Spotlight: Incluzion
In a time where the world has been turned upside down and minorities are fighting for their lives for social and economic equality, the growing COVID-19 pandemic has done nothing but generate even more fear and confusion for contractors and other gig workers who lack the benefits and security of being a permanent employee. Despite the hardships these past few months, we want to spotlight one of our customers, Incluzion, who has been helping support and advocate for the Black and Latinx communities through work in the gig economy. We spoke with Founder and CEO of Incluzion, Jibril Sulaiman, and what his experience has been like navigating a company through a pandemic.
A little about you:
GW: Introduce yourself and your business.
JS: My name is Jibril Sulaiman. I’m Incluzion’s founder, as well as an entrepreneur of 20 years with an innate passion to provide economic empowerment for marginalized communities. In 2019, my passion led me to launch Incluzion — a community of women, Black and Latinx professionals working in a flexible capacity such as remote professionals, freelancers and consultants. As a startup, Incluzion connects its community to upskilling & job opportunities through a freelance marketplace, remote jobs board, and learning platform.
GW: What is your business’s mission?
JS: Our business’s mission is to provide Black and Latinx talent with the resources and support that they need to thrive as remote, freelance, or work-from-home professionals.
GW: How did you decide to start your business?
JS: My passion stemmed from my own experiences from building my career as a small business owner from 2000–2010 to being a first-time tech founder in 2011 and now as a board member for my hometown’s African American Chamber of Commerce. In 2016, I propelled my first tech company, Paysell, to #484 on the Inc5000 list where I had the opportunity to hire and grow my company using freelance and contract talent from Elance, but found it difficult to find Black freelancers on the platform. After exiting the company, I became a freelancer myself and personally experienced how difficult it was to be noticed as a Black freelancer on the current platforms. Eventually, because of the press from making the Inc 5000 list, other companies reached out to me to also source Black freelance web development talent.
GW: How has COVID-19 impacted your business?
JS: We have been able to be more creative with our product offerings and create offerings that can be mutually beneficial for our community, our partners, and Incluzion. COVID-19 allowed us to launch both our remote jobs board and our learning platform. Both launches were created to support our community with resources to earn income during these unprecedented times and further develop their soft skills, all while supporting our partners with access to diverse talent.
GW: What is it like running a business during a time of social unrest, injustice, and inequality?
JS: It takes a lot of intentionality & alignment to your core values to remain resilient during these times. Anyone that can continue to run their business during tough times as these can certainly confirm that they are in it for the right reasons. This time of social unrest, injustice, and inequality has further defined the importance and need of Incluzion. The Black and LatinX community needs us, and we will not stop until the diversity & equity gap is closed across the board.
GW: What key factors have led to your success?
JS: Consistency, community, and passion. Personally experiencing how difficult it is to be noticed as a Black freelancer on the current platforms has been the foundation of the passion behind Incluzion and its mission. That very passion and the Black and Latinx talent community we support is what has given my team and I the desire to be consistent in our endeavors to support Black and Latinx talent.
GW: What advice do you have for businesses who employ contractors?
JS: Partner with companies who can truly assist in your DEI efforts. Diversity is usually not as much of an issue as equity and inclusion are, so it is very important to be intentional in your efforts to support diverse talent including partnering with intentional DEI partners such as Incluzion.
Your thoughts on Us:
GW: What problem(s) were you trying to solve with our product?
JS: We wanted a way to distribute payments directly to a freelancer’s bank accounts without having to deal with the hassle of a bank’s routing number, 1099 paperwork, or even a Paypal account. Gig Wage streamlined all of that and made the entire process so easy.
GW: How does our product or service stand out from other options?
JS: The setup and per-transaction price are very reasonable.
GW: What made you happiest about working with our company? What is your biggest success story?
JS: As a Black founder in the tech startup space, I was excited to do business with Gig Wage’s CEO, Craig J. Lewis who is another Black founder in this industry.
As a black-owned company, we are incredibly proud to work with companies like Incluzion whose mission is to support the Black and Latinx talent through the gig economy. Especially during this revolutionary time where we all are fighting for social equality across the board, we look forward to your impact and success.
You can find Incluzion on their website and on Twitter and Instagram.
Written byErin Lee