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Leveraging AI to Empower Diverse Entrepreneurs with Winsome Kirton

We often hear the importance of shopping locally, shopping small businesses, and purchasing from minority and underrepresented groups. And while this is quite easy to do on a personal level, it’s more difficult to accomplish on a company- or corporate-wide level. Not all smaller businesses are equipped to handle large requests, and often getting ESG certifications is too difficult and time-consuming for the small business owner. Today, Winsome Kirton is here to talk about her journey creating Heard.io to help close those gaps. This week’s episode 88 of How Women Inspire Podcast is about leveraging AI to empower diver entrepreneurs!



In this episode of How Women Inspire Podcast, Winsome Kirton is sharing the importance of supporting small and ESG-aligned businesses on a larger scale and actionable steps you can take right now to encourage your employer to seek small businesses for their corporate gifting needs.


Winsome Kirton is the founder and CEO of Heard.io, a B2B ecosystem that drives and measures social impact by connecting businesses with companies that meet their ESG goals. After working as a media director and working on her first startup, Pack Elephant, Winsome realized how difficult it was to work with small and diverse-owned businesses on a big scale. She started Heard.io to combat those difficulties and allow companies to shop thoughtfully and intentionally for their corporate gifting needs.



Some of the talking points Julie and Winsome go over in this episode include:

  • Recognizing and addressing imposter syndrome in high-achieving women.

  • Challenges faced by small businesses in reaching ESG certifications.

  • Using AI to vet small businesses for diversity and ESG dimensions for greater visibility.

  • The importance of supporting small businesses and ESG-aligned companies during the holiday season.

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this episode, take a screenshot of the episode to post in your stories and tag me! And don’t forget to follow, rate, and review the podcast and tell me your key takeaways!


Learn more about How Women Inspire at https://www.howwomenlead.com/podcast


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