Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, who are advancing the UN SDGs.
Spiffy here! I’m back with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Jasmine Anouna, founder of The Bloom. Let’s see what she is doing to make a positive impact in the world.
Spiffy: Thanks for joining me today, Jasmine! Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through your startup?
Jasmine: Happy to be with you, Spiffy! "What can I do to make a difference in the world?" Every day, hundreds of millions of people (and growing!) are asking themselves this exact question, and The Bloom is the company that will help them find answers. We're on a mission to build a global hub for social impact careers, connecting changemakers everywhere to exciting jobs at innovative startups while inspiring success stories of change and providing mentorship with social impact leaders.
Spiffy: What motivated you to tackle this challenge?
Jasmine: Well, The Bloom encompasses everything I wish I had growing up as a young Italian-Egyptian woman passionate about human rights. I knew early on I wanted to fight for women's rights, but there were limited resources and perspectives on what a career in this field might look like—in school, career talks were focused mostly on law, medicine, or technology. My motivation to build The Bloom comes from a deep understanding that this remains an urgent global problem. If we are determined to build a more equitable world, then we need to make it easier for job-seekers everywhere to discover all the amazing local startups and organizations effecting change.
Spiffy: Is that how you would say The Bloom is working towards a more equitable world?
Jasmine: Exactly! Over 500 million women around the world are passionate about making a difference within their communities and across borders. Now, more than ever, we crave to find career paths that chart better futures. Yet, there are very few global resources that can help these millions of women find perspective and opportunities across impact areas from climate justice to gender equality. The Bloom's solution is to build a global hub for jobs, connections, and mentorship in careers focused on creating a more equitable future. We empower women with the knowledge, resources, and community to change the world.
Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organizational milestone or initiative by The Bloom. What impact does that make on your community/audience?
Jasmine: Early in my journey, countless entrepreneurs called me “crazy” for not having social media for The Bloom. The comments fuelled my anxiety, but I held back to focus on what was important: community. My first year building The Bloom was 100% focused on creating a high-quality resource that responded to the needs of my community. And...we grew from 20 to 14,000 women in 78 countries WITHOUT social media! Our slow approach to growth is our success story. We're leading a new wave of startups disrupting traditional business guidelines to create our own blueprint for growth grounded in listening, patience, and care.
Spiffy: Please share an experience when you faced failure and didn't give up. What did you learn from it?
Jasmine: One of the failures I'm most grateful for in my entrepreneurship journey is the moment I almost decided to quit The Bloom. During the first year, everything in my life revolved around The Bloom. I’d wake up and open my laptop. Then at the end of the day, all I wanted to talk about with friends at dinner was The Bloom. I was so passionate about the work that I gave up sports, art classes, movie nights out so that I could focus 100% of my time on the company. Eventually, I burnt out and fell into such a strong depression that I almost quit. I look back with so much gratitude for this period, because it showed me that no matter how much your work is fulfilling and positively impacting the world, it doesn't justify sacrificing your own life.
Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Jasmine—it’s been an honor!
Jasmine Anouna is a feminist entrepreneur and founder of The Bloom, a global companion for social impact careers. As an Italian-Egyptian-American, her fire comes from building creative bridges between cultures, people, and ideas. For her work at the intersection of startups, social impact, and women's rights, she’s spoken at Cambridge University, UNESCO, and Oxford Business School. She was recently nominated as SDG Goalkeeper by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (Nominated by Anisha Nandi of Verbate. First published on the Ladderworks website on September 13, 2022.)© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by George Romar. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.