The Tech By Choice community came together for our first Hack & Learn program in 2020 to support minority owned business. We hosted a virtual hackathon and an online conference to highlight and support our community during the pandemic.
2020 has amplified something marginalized communities have been saying for years. Our systems are broken, throughout the globe, and disproportionately affect marginalized communities. Minority business owners and technologists are struggling to stay afloat.
Minority business owners struggle to find funding despite the large stimulus packages that were created to save the economy. 74% of black-owned firms applied for the Paycheck Protection Program. Only 40% of those firms were approved putting additional strains on these business owners.
May 25 2020 George Floyd died due to police brutality while he was in their custody. This sparked protests across the globe. Unfortunately, a number of riots followed these protests causing damages to countless local minority-owned businesses. Businesses who were struggling to stay open after the shelter in place orders.
A struggling economy has caused a record number of layoffs for members of our community. With more than 4 million Americans applying for unemployment and business struggling to make ends meet our goal is to help our community thrive. We believe in creating a space that allows our members to help our community from within.
Our goal is to run a hackathon where we can pair technologists up with local business owners to improve or create an online experience for owners.
We understand that moving to a digital space is a marathon and not a sprint. Leading up to the hackathon we will host a number of workshops to support business owners and technologists level up for this event and whatever comes next.
Not all hackathons are welcoming to everyone, and they can be intimidating. This is why each member who joins the hackathon portion will be paired with a mentor to help with any issues people may run into.