Business Owner Spotlight: Kristen Ransom, Founder and Chief Technology Officer, and Brandon Ransom, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Kristen Ransom, Founder and Chief Technology Officer, and Brandon Ransom, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, lead IncluDe Innovation located in the heart of Dudley Square in Roxbury, Massachusets. IncluDe is a digital design and development agency that helps social impact organizations tell their stories digitally through graphic, web, user interface, and user experience design.
Kristen and Brandon shared with us the concept that sparked the inspiration to start IncluDe and how access to capital helped them expand their business.
How did you come up with the name for your company?
The name IncluDe stands for Inclusive Design and Development. The name came from the realization that communities of color have an abundance of great ideas; all that’s missing are opportunities. We started IncluDe to use our design and development expertise to help traditionally underserved businesses increase revenue and impact.
Every day in communities like Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan, we encounter passionate entrepreneurs with ideas that could solve our communities’ most pressing challenges. The difference between these entrepreneurs and their counterparts in areas like Cambridge is access to the technical workforce required to turn their ideas into reality.
How did you hear about Dorchester Bay Neighborhood Business Loans?
We heard about Dorchester Bay’s loan program through various programs at the Roxbury Innovation Center as well as Dorchester Bay workshops at the Fairmount Innovation Lab. Dorchester Bay Neighborhood Business Loans team always struck us as genuine, helpful, and passionate about helping small businesses like ours succeed. What motivated us to apply to the Neighborhood Business Loan Program, was the Level UP Financial Workshop Series led by Johnny Charles, Anthony Ciavattone, and Brenda Guerra. It was then that the team walked us through the process of applying to the loan program.
As new entrepreneurs, how was your experience with Dorchester Bay Neighborhood Loans?
Our experience with the loan process was smooth and encouraging. The Dorchester Bay Neighborhood Business Loans team were helpful and talked us through the entire process. The team showed us ways our business cash flow can improve, and helped us understand available financing options.
Dorchester Bay Neighborhood Business Loans helped us find a way to take our business to the next level. We recently opened our new office space in Dudley Square, and can now prepare for growth by expanding our team.
What advice would you offer to anyone who is thinking about starting a business of his or her own?
As a business owner, you’re responsible for all aspects of the business, and you can’t have expertise in every field. Be humble enough to ask when you don’t know and open enough to accept help, and follow through on that advice.
Are there entrepreneurial tricks you discovered to keep you focused and productive in your busy schedule?
Don’t get bogged down in busywork, but instead focus on impactful actions that move the needle for your business. If and when possible, delegate tasks and collaborate with partners. Also, leverage digital tools for managing projects and tasks.