There are over 12 million small businesses in the U.S. that are owned by women and minority entrepreneurs (including veterans). Although nearly 40 percent of small businesses are women and minority owned, less than 8 percent of U.S. e-commerce sales go back to minority business owners and their communities. This means that on average a non-minority business owner earns nearly $439 thousand per year, whereas women and minority owned business owners only earn around $167 thousand annually. Does this seem like a system that is working for everyone?
At Roog, we believe that small business success should be inclusive. Creating economic opportunity for all American entrepreneurs, regardless of backgrounds is why we launched our startup. Now we are redesigning the Roog mobile app, an award-winning product that took several innovation awards at The University of Texas at Austin. We are building a digital marketplace that allows shoppers to locate women and minority (including military veterans) owned small businesses in many of the communities we call home.
Out of 90+ business graduate students and teams, our product placed third in 2018’s University of Texas business plan “pitch” competition and first in 2019’s operations plan “pitch” competition. We are also the only startup in UT’s entrepreneurship program supported by leaders from West Point, Stanford University, Austin Area Urban League of Young Professionals, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce and the African American Chamber of Commerce in Austin, Texas.