Sylvia Brown of Thought Leaders & Action Partners Ltd.

What inspired you to start your entrepreneurial journey, and how do you hope your work will impact women’s lives or the broader community?

The fields in which I thrive are community engagement and public policy. In the aftermath of COVID-19 the conditions surfaced created a confluence of opportunities to use my lived experiences, knowledge, skills and abilities. My business, Thought Leaders & Action Partners, Ltd., uses two decades of public affairs experience to facilitate collaboration and synergy, bridge the services, message and reach of government and high impact businesses to their stakeholders, clients and potential partners to drive positive change.

I am Black, Southern and female with lived experiences that a significant number of constituencies and stakeholders have encountered. These demographics and experiences have been noticeably missing in the business, civic and public affairs industries. Heightened attention to equity, equality, and social justice are advantageous.

Can you share a significant challenge you’ve faced as a woman entrepreneur and how you overcame it? What did this experience teach you?

Imposter syndrome lurks around every corner. Entering a space as an underrepresented person can be challenging. Entering this field with the knowledge, skills and abilities that I have can be even more challenging in the rural south, which is still dominated by –isms. It’s important to get out of my head and recognize someone else’s lack of curiosity, imagination, love and intention do not dictate my worth, work or impact.

What piece of advice would you give to aspiring women entrepreneurs?

It’s important to lean into the certainty of being uncertain. Be bold instead of hugging the middle.

Where do you see your business in the next five years, and how do you hope it will contribute to women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship?

The principal and the firm are established as an authority and innovator through publications, speaking engagements, and advocacy best practices. Relationships leveraged to create strategic partnerships that secure national multi-million contracts and expand the firm’s footprint to the community development field, namely affordable and mixed use attainable housing which satisfies the policy priority of quality, affordable and available housing and the human right to have stable, habitable living conditions.