Woman talks on the phone on the cover of how to build an inclusive business guide.

How to build an inclusive business

Practicing inclusivity is beneficial to every independent business, no matter the size or industry. In fact, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are the core values of many of the most successful businesses. That’s because practicing DEI is not only the ethical thing to do, it’s also better for your bottom line. It empowers you to welcome more opportunities and build strong relationships with a broader range of clients, partners, and employees.

Ensuring your business is inclusive takes work and deliberate action. That’s where this month’s guide can help. Learn how to conduct an inclusion audit, improve your marketing language, confront your natural biases, and more.

A note on inclusivity
We recognize that inclusion is an important but infinite topic that cannot be adequately covered in a single guide. To make inclusion feel more manageable, this resource aims to amplify the voices in our community and provide some suggestions for how to make inclusion a continuous, ever-evolving process.

This guide covers how to:

How to build an inclusive business

Invest in inclusive business education:

To build a thriving business you need a culture of belonging that helps everyone come together to do their best work no matter their background. Jessie Sutherland shares tips for how you can do this. Go beyond sharing on social media and learn how to practice genuine diversity and inclusivity from Chanda Daniels.

Grow and learn by doing:

You may be one of the many independent business owners looking to prioritize diversity and inclusivity in your business. Akua Konadu joined forces with her mama to make intentional gifting easier and is sharing her experience of creating an inclusivity-focused business. When was the last time you performed an accessibility audit on your business? It’s never too late to optimize your processes and make them accessible to as many as possible. Claire teaches you best practices for improving accessibility in your client experience.

Ensure success with an audit:

Improving your processes starts with understanding what’s going well and where there is an opportunity for improvement. That’s where an inclusion audit comes in. Though it may feel like a daunting task, Amber Aziza is breaking it down for you. As you audit your diversity initiatives, Jenna Teague shows you how you can broaden your language to be inclusive to all gender and sexual identities so that you’re no longer leaving potential clients out.


What's inside

Create a culture of belonging in the workplace

 Jessie Sutherland

Discover why developing a sense of belonging is essential for your independent business. Jessie discusses how to invest in inclusive business education. You will discover three inclusive business methods that will build diversity and belonging, encouraging everyone in your independent business to thrive.

Practicing diversity and inclusion

Chanda Daniels 

Beyond social media, Chanda shares how to practice genuine diversity and inclusiveness. Diversity, unlike the black square, is not a trend. To make a difference, businesses must go above and beyond. It’s time to make diversity and inclusion fundamental principles practiced by all.

Akua Konadu

Regardless of how long you have been in business, building an inclusive independent business is lifelong work. There will be no conclusion until all communities are treated equitably. Akua joined forces with her mother to make intentional gifting easier and is sharing her experience of creating an inclusivity-focused business. 

Three easy steps to conduct a DEI Audit

Amber Aziza 

Improving your processes begins with identifying what is working effectively and where there is room for improvement. This is when an inclusion audit comes into play. Though it may appear to be a difficult endeavor, Amber is here to help. Whether you do a self-audit or employ an external auditor, remember that you are making a significant influence on your business, team, and community by doing so, and it is well worth the effort.

Five steps toward more inclusive marketing

Jenna Teague

Learn how to extend your language to be inclusive of all gender and sexual identities as you audit your diversity initiatives, so you’re not missing out on potential clients. Jenna demonstrates how to become an active ally for the LGBTQIA+ community, allowing more individuals to feel seen and represented.

Disclaimer: The advice featured in this guide and on the blog was sourced from our community members for sharing general information and knowledge. For specific legal, financial, tax, mental health and professional advice, please consult an authorized professional.