“Our mission is to promote connectivity and empowerment to female leaders, founders and entrepreneurs,” says Flint’s Future is Female Co-Founder, Rachel Johnson. “One of our goals is to encourage a new generation of females to get involved in their community and its organizations. You can be a decisionmaker at the table.”
Flint’s Future is Female was started by Johnson and Heidi McAra as a way to help women find the resources and support they need to become successful with their business and professional aspirations. While working together at the Flint YWCA promoting female empowerment, McAra and Johnson found that the support network that existed within the organization was missing for women on the outside, especially in the professional sense. “There is a lack of connectivity between female entrepreneurs and founders in Flint,” says Johnson. “Everyone exists in their own silo. Heidi and I want to find and build those connections to enhance the portfolio of resources for women. We want to find and connect the dots.”
“One of our goals is to encourage a new generation of females to get involved in their community and its organizations.”
FFF aims to be a single point of information for women looking to start or grow a business, start a non-profit organization, or be a community leader. “We don’t want to reinvent the wheel,” adds Johnson. “If there is a person or organization able to help you in your endeavors, we will get you in touch with them.” FFF is open to all women seeking to grow their business including those with a side gig such as an Etsy shop, or someone who operates as a gig web designer. “We are trying to figure out what the Etsy people want. How can we help the gig economy? We are working on it.”
In addition, FFF hopes to become a resource itself with future plans to host seminars and roundtable discussions to help grow fresh ideas. “We would like to invite experts and successful women to speak with self-starters. You can imagine yourself winning if you can see it in someone else,” says Johnson. “There is a lot of talent in the city and that is inspiring.”
The pandemic has caused a slowdown in FFF plans and implementation, but the organization is still actively making connections and recognizing hardworking women and businesses in the area. Each day, they promote a local small business on social media. “We have to support small business. We cannot afford to lose them,” states Johnson. And, they feature a “Flint Female of the Week” highlighting the recipient’s successes and missions. “The Flint Female of the Week comes to us via outside nomination,” explains Johnson. “Anyone can nominate a person on our organizational website or through social media. We get a wide variety of women leaders and that is very exciting for us. All we need is a pic and a short bio.” Another item currently on hiatus is a weekly podcast entitled “Tell Her” wherein guests share the lessons they have learned through their experiences in the guise of speaking to their younger selves or children. Early podcast episodes are available at flintsfutureisfemale.com.
As Flint’s rebirth continues, women leaders and entrepreneurs have a chance to make a big impact on the city’s future and FFF can help. “We want to make the city attractive to those outside of it. We will do everything we can to increase the social capital for females in Flint,” says Johnson. “There is a lot of positivity around the city and I am proud that Flint’s Future is Female is a part of it.”
For more information, please visit flintsfutureisfemale.com or visit their Facebook or Instagram.
Photography by Kayce McClure