Thank you to the Founder & CEO of Purpose WorX Kindra Dionne for answering a few of our questions! This year-long spotlight series is brought to you by the Chamber’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. To learn more, click here.
Where were born and raised and, if it was someplace else, when and why did you come to Loudoun?
I was born and raised in Richmond, VA. I moved to Loudoun County in 2009 because of an employment opportunity.
When did you launch your first business and how did you get into your current line of work?
I have been entrepreneurial since I was a little girl, however I registered my first business in Loudoun in 2011. I owned a Holistic Wellness Coaching practice and I guided people through the process of holistic healing and well living. In 2017 I launched Purpose Worx, a Business Development & Training firm. I wanted to create a business consulting service that prioritized purpose over profit. We support business owners who are difference makers and change agents. Our role is to ensure mission-driven entrepreneurs enter new markets with excellence.
Have you had any special mentors or inspirations that influenced your career?
I draw my entrepreneurial inspiration from my village. My grandmother owned and operated 3 businesses while working two jobs and raising four children. My mother was an independent contractor while working a full-time job as a nurse. All three of my uncles are small business owners. I have been surrounded by entrepreneurial ambition my entire life. No one really made a big deal out of it; it was just something you did to survive. My village also includes my college professors Mr. Jones (band), who always saw more in my than I saw in myself, Dr. Van Wilson (Student Affairs), who went above and beyond to make sure I never quit, my Winston-Salem State University “Ramily” who encouraged me to push beyond my limits. These people have sent me through training programs, supported my endeavors, invested in my ideas, lifted my spirits, and cleared a path for me to grow and thrive.
What is the best part of your job and why?
Clapping for my clients is the best part of my job. The phrase “It’s Lonely at The Top” is a very real sentiment for entrepreneurs. This is especially true for minority business owners. It is so fulfilling to serve the dual role of a strategist and a supporter for each of my clients as they exceed their goals while overcoming a variety of personal and professional obstacles. It brings me great joy to cheer on their small wins and their major victories. Whether it be a small non-profit who won a grant, a community organization who successfully navigated the pandemic, a startup who earned their first paying client, or a small government contracting firm who won a sole source HUBZone contract, I will always be the most animated cheerleader/ supporter/ advocate / friend in their corner.
What is it like owning/running a business in Loudoun?
Owning and running a business is the most beautifully terrifying thing I have ever done. Owning and running a business in Loudoun is unique. The proximity to DC and Maryland really broadens the playing field for business growth and expansion. The diversity in business types mixed with a highly skilled workforce makes business-2-business collaborations seamless and successful. Loudoun offers a wide variety of resources to ensure all businesses succeed and I am truly grateful for it.
What does Black Business Month mean to you?
This August marks the 26th Anniversary of Nationally celebrating and recognizing Black Business Month. Business owners of African and Caribbean descent only represent approximately 2 million of more than 30 million small businesses recognized by the US Census. Culturally speaking, entrepreneurial attributes and ambitions are ingrained in our DNA. Our ancestry is filled with a rich history of innovation, creativity, and strong work ethic. Nationally, Black Business Month is an opportunity to increase awareness about the products and services offered by black businesses in every community in every state. Locally, Black Business Month represents an opportunity for non-black business owners to “Check Your Network.” I challenge every non-black Loudoun-based business to assess your vendor logs, LinkedIn connections, service providers list, referral networks, email contacts, cell phone contacts, and your list of dinner guests over the past 12-months just to see how many Black entrepreneurs you actually do business with or even interact with. Our tendency is to interact and engage with people we know, like, and trust, but we don’t often go outside of our comfort zones to get to know people who look different than us. Black businesses in Loudoun often feel unseen and ignored. I hope that Black Business Month 2021 generates genuine conversations between black and non-black business owners, profitable business connections, and brand awareness among the entire Loudoun business community.
What are some of your favorite things to do when you are not working?
When I am not working, I love to flex my artistic muscles by painting, trying to make things I see on Pinterest, and cooking. I also love hanging out by the water and taking drives into DC.
To learn more about Purpose WorX, visit their website here.