Kathryn Finney, Founder of digitalUNdivided, Is Helping People Change Their Lives with Technology
The FOCUS 100 event is planned again for October in New York, surrounded by a hackathon and investing-related events, encouraging black women to also get involved in supporting and investing in other companies founded by women of color.
“We have to invest. We can’t just take; we have to give back,” Finney said. “And one of the ways we give back is to invest in those coming up who have great businesses, first and foremost, and who are reaching out and fulfilling a need.”
Finney highlights the importance of taking these events to cities including Chicago, Detroit, and Atlanta, where there are large black populations, rather than making interested people travel to Silicon Valley or New York just to participate and learn more.
Just as she saw with her father earlier in her life, Finney said she sees a transition happening. With her father, it was away from a manufacturing-based economy to one that was more knowledge-based. Now, she notes that the new economy revolves around technology.
“If you look at a lot of the new wealth that has been created in our country, outside of Wall Street, a lot of that new wealth has been tech-based and if you look at the people who have benefited from that new wealth, they haven’t been black people. And, they haven’t been Latino people,” she said. “We will become a permanent underclass if we don’t actively get involved in the tech space, and not just as consumers, but as creators.”
Currently, Finney is in the midst of exiting and selling The Budget Fashionista and the larger company it has become. While she was unable to share any details, she hopes that the sale will be official in the next couple months.
So what’s next? In addition to growing digitalUNdivided, Finney hopes to bring some balance to her life.
“This year, I’m interested in taking care of myself,” she said. “It sounds selfish, but when you’ve been in the grind and when you’re an entrepreneur, you sometimes forget about yourself and the basics of your health and maintaining relationship. For me, that is what this year is all about.”
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