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The Hustle

Name: Akeelah Kuraishi (Little Global Citizens)

You may have heard of a few of Akeelah Kuraishi's former employers. The mother of two worked for global titans like Myspace, Univision and Buzzfeed before she left the corporate advertising world to launch Little Global Citizens with her husband, Tim Minnick. Recently accepted into Tampa Bay Wave's TechDiversity Accelerator, Little Global Citizens is a start-up subscription box service inspired by Kuraishi and Minnick's life-altering, 13-month backpacking trip around the world. Each box focuses on a particular county's culture, sourcing authentic materials and stories from the country and culture of focus. Kuraishi also works with an educational consultant to develop age-appropriate skill-building activities. With Little Global Citizens, Kuraishi seeks to share the love of other countries that she gained during her travels not only with her own children, but with children across the country.

Media

Years in St. Pete

Hustle (job)

Founder and CEO of Little Global Citizens.

What do you do?  

Little Global Citizens is a children's subscription box for good. We teach children about different cultures of the world with the goal of fostering open-mindedness, compassion, and global awareness.

Why do you do it?

We wanted to make sure that our children as they grow up realize that with globalization they need to be understanding of people of different countries and cultures, and they also need to have empathy and compassion for those people in order for them to be successful in a very fast, globalizing world. We decided that the best way to do this is to deliver it to them in a service that parents and children can enjoy, learn about new countries and cultures, and have a lot of fun while they're doing it.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

My husband and I were very fortunate to backpack around the world for 13 months and met people from different walks of life. What we found is that people are all the same as us - despite surface differences they're all the same. My husband and I had been holding onto this knowledge and insight for a long time. As we now have our own sons, we want to make sure that they understand these concepts.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

Through doing this, we have been connecting with people all around the world. We do a different country every month, so it's been fabulous connecting with people in Thailand, in Kenya, Great Britain where I'm from. We've had such positive feedback from people saying, "we're so glad to hear that you're teaching American children about our country and our culture." It goes back to the concept we want to do, which is to bring countries and people together.

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

As entrepreneurs, you are responsible for everything. There's no HR department, no tech department, no sales, procurement department. It is you, and you have to learn everything, even the bits you don't like.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

A former boss of mine had a poster on his wall that said, "done is better than perfect." And that really is the impetus just to get out there and do it If you think about your idea and never do it, it's never going to be a success. So just do it, even if you're not 100 percent confident that everything is going to be perfect. And then the other thing that I have been very conscious of throughout my career, and has been taught to me by many wonderful women that I've worked with, is to give. Give of yourself, give of your time, give of your connections, and help mentor people. That is a phenomenal way to be a business person, to be a person and it really helps foster a great community that you can support and that will support you in return.


Why Tampa Bay?

It is beautiful here and the ability to work in a beautiful environment where there is a strong entrepreneurial vibe and where people are very supportive and kind and generous with their time and their resources is a phenomenal experience to us. This is my first time working here. I've traditionally worked in the Chicago area, and it's really been very refreshing to find that there's such a vibrant community here of entrepreneurs.

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