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Why Now?

Tech By Choice is an organization that helps underrepresented groups enter, stay, and thrive in the tech industry. We offer a holistic approach that includes exploring vocational pathways, education, mentorship, and supporting self-care/life skills. We are dedicated to building a coalition across marginalized identities that uplifts us all. 

At the end of May, a small group of Tech By Choice members shared their concern for small businesses struggling to stay afloat. Businesses are turning to the web to make up for lost earnings. Unfortunately, more than a third (36%) of small businesses do not already have a website and many lack e-commerce experience. Minority-owned businesses have been especially hard hit. Structural differences in personal wealth, business experience, education, and networks make this digital pivot challenging. During the first three months of the pandemic, Black business owners saw the largest drop (41%), closely followed by Latinx (32%). In comparison, white-owned businesses fell by only 17%. Minority-owned businesses were shut out of PPP loans for various reasons, including a lack of relationships with larger banks who prioritized larger and existing accounts.

The community discussion evolved into what is Tech By Choice’s first Hack and Learn (aka a Hackathon). Our technologists have the skills needed and are ready to take action. Together we will help minority-owned businesses thrive online.

Why is TBC using the word ‘minority’?

The Small Business Administration,  government, and other business organizations use this phrase almost exclusively. We wanted to attract the attention of underrepresented small business owners with wording that they were familiar with and associated with support.