Digital Dandelions IT Solutions
Hello, my name is Rahni. I was named after my late father Rodney Sumler, a local civil rights activist in North Carolina. I grew up in Winston-Salem, NC, but I went to college in Greensboro. I also went to college twice. Once for preschool at Winston-Salem State University, where I attended college with my older sister Zoi. Again in Greenbsoro, where I learned to be a jetsetting Electrical Engineer at my father’s alma mater: the additionally historically activist North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. I studied abroad at Korea University in Seoul, where I learned computer chip design and immersed myself in one of the most socially active schools in Asia. Impressed with my work in South Korea, my university would hire me to write a few study materials in design for my fellow students and eventually would send me as a representative at University of Minnesota to study climate change. Currently I have landed myself a technical writing position in at the CUNY School of Public Health, serving my community of Harlem. I council Public Health students in technical writing and serving their communities through developing their professional voice. In the future one of my goals is to create a public works coalition, teaming up members of the community with engineers that have the know how to develop the infrastructure they need. These public works projects will be community driven, building up technoligical utilities that not only improve quality of life but are informed by the voices in the community. Inspired by my father who was a leader in our community, attending his activist school, traveling abroad, seeing how other communities take care of each other, working in public health, and building an online activist community- these are the steps that will lead me to my overall end goal.
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
This business provides simple technical solutions for complicated technical problems. For example, I spearheaded a social media campaign for a very talented leather making artist. My client’s expertise was in art, leather and cloth crafts, not in social media strategy. I created a way for her to organize and update her social media accounts, sharing and selling many of her one-of-a-kind African American culture inspired pieces. I got the idea for this business when I completed college with a diverse and varied skill set. No one else could use all of my skills. Digital Dandelions came about to market all of these skills and showcases my flexibility. As dandelions can be successful in just about any where, my business helps people adapt and thrive where they are. My premier product, AC Pharos, is another step towards solving a problem that needed a solution. Economic activism has always been the most impactful strategy for social and political change. It has delivered many gains from the Voting Rights Act to the systematic end of Jim Crow. However, working with many activists including my father and the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, this approach severely needs some updating. In the future, Digital Dandelions IT Solutions will be the first to develop a process for online economic activism that is more democratic and accessible. Those effected by economic injustice the most, those without funds to contribute, will be given a platform to still inform and even lead the movement.
What is the purpose of this loan?
AC Pharos is the product my business will be producing. It is an online community and search engine, a resource that brings small businesses and economic activists together. At present, Small Businesses are drowned out by the noise on the social media sphere. Additionally, there is a “start up culture” for programmers and technologistists but there is no “skilled entrapneaur” culture. AC Pharos will fill this niche. Small businesses need a space online dedicated just for them to bring in revenue, advertise their products and talk about the “skilled entrapenaur lifestyle”. AC Pharos will provide that space for them. Further, economic activists have no central database of ethical businesses that they can invest in. This is a problem that I discovered while working with Abyssinian Baptist Church on their economic sanctions campaign in Harlem. Small Businesses by virtue are ethical and directly serve their communties. Economic Activists also need a space where those who are effected the most can lead the movement. Through AC Pharos, economic activism will be made more democratic: those who cannot afford to contribute to the movement with their dollars will be given a voice. I have already selected 3 amazing canidates, all women of color: one for programming the online community, one for designing the brand, and another for writing grants to jumpstart revenue. This loan will allow me to pay them to support their families and their own projects. For myself, this loan will allow me to become more financially stable and support my surviving mother.
Years in operation: 1 year – 3 years