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Girl Gang Indy catalyzes success among women entrepreneurs

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One entrepreneur was driven to ignite a spark of empowerment in Indianapolis by founding Girl Gang Indy in the summer of 2020. What began as a Facebook group of women supporting women has blossomed into a thriving community, helping women navigate the entrepreneurial landscape in Indianapolis and beyond. Through events, workshops and initiatives, La’Meshia Hayes and Girl Gang Indy are not only focused on fostering connection, but also on changing lives.

Hayes, the woman behind Girl Gang Indy, recognized women’s barriers to launching and growing their businesses. With a passion for empowering others, she established a platform where women can find support, resources and connections to propel their entrepreneurial dreams forward.

“I was a first-time entrepreneur in my family and amongst my friends, and I felt like I was missing that support system,” Hayes told the Indianapolis Recorder on her inspiration for starting the collective. “So, I figured there might be other people who desired that same sense of community and network.”

Girl Gang Indy organizer and entrepreneur La’Meshia Hayes (Photo provided/A Good Life Photo Co.)

Hayes’ motivation for creating Girl Gang Indy stems from a deep-rooted desire to level the playing field for women in business and connect like-minded women entrepreneurs and small business owners. Recognizing the disparities in access to resources and networks, Hayes sought to bridge this gap by building a community where women can thrive, especially within Indianapolis. As of March 2024, the official Girl Gang Indy Facebook group currently sits at almost 6,000 members.

Girl Gang Indy provides further resources for women-owned businesses in Indianapolis through the in-person events it hosts.

“We do events every month,” Hayes said. “These events are formal or informal and can sometimes be social, like a networking mixer or a brunch, where we can connect with one another.”

More Girl Gang News: Catchings to receive first-ever Ethical Leadership Award

The collective also offers the Blessing Fund, a crowdfunding endeavor that exemplifies a commitment to women-owned businesses. Each month, the Blessing Fund awards $1,000 to a woman-owned business within the collective, providing vital financial support to fuel its endeavors.

Erica Pierce, the owner of media and design company A Klassy Life, has been a member of the collective for more than two years.

“Girl Gang Indy has been very beneficial in helping me gain and foster connections I may or may not have had without them,” Pierce said.

A photo of some of the women entrepreneurs who are involved with Girl Gang Indy. (Photo provided/ A Good Life Photo Co.)

Pierce obtained the $1,000 Blessing Fund with Girl Gang Indy in 2023 and used the funds to grow her business.

“I was able to bring on a couple of team members and expand on our advertising and marketing. That Blessing Fund was able to get us started to where I can focus more on securing new clients and help keep the business rolling.”

Pierce also said that the team members employed using money from the Blessing Fund are still a part of the team today.

A commitment to community and collaboration is at the heart of Girl Gang Indy’s operations. Through online platforms and in-person gatherings, members connect, share insight and uplift one another. The Blessing Fund serves as a tangible manifestation of this support, providing financial assistance and a sense of solidarity and encouragement.

“Since founding the group, we have raised a little bit over $40,000 to pour back into our community,” Hayes said.

“We really want to impact the Indiana community as a whole. Our goal is to continue to cultivate impactful relationships that offer personal development and business success to our women entrepreneurs.”

Contact senior sports writer Noral Parham III at 317-762-7846 or email at noralp@indyrecorder.com. Follow him on Twitter @3Noral. For more news during Women’s History Month courtesy of the Indianapolis Recorder, click here.

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