On Friday, December 1, we hosted our inaugural LGBTQ+ Business Week, featuring 30 entrepreneurs who are shaping the queer economy. If you weren't able to attend on Friday, you can watch replays of each session on the here.
Panelists gave practical tips about running your own business, working with people you love, and how policies like anti-trans legislation have affected their business. Here are four business trends to look out for in 2024.
Ethically driven, niche, independent businesses are here to stay
Almost all of the virtual panels touched on the need for ethically driven businesses, especially as more and more people divest from big box stores like Amazon.
During the Inside the Queer Economy panel, Cat Perez, founder of queer marketplace Famm, said niche businesses made for and by our community are here to stay. "No one else thinks of solving [our problems] because they don't understand it."
During the Tech Today for LGBTQ+ panel, marketing strategist Anni Lundy said, "We are in the most ethically driven economy we've ever been in." This moment calls for ethical business models.
The creator economy will continue to be lucrative
During the Creator Economy is Lucrative AF panel, creators Ruba and Tomás Matos said creating content helps them reach audiences they would have previously never reached. The panel also highlighted differences in approach — some people will continue to create content as a side hustle, while others will pursue content creation full time.
According to Adweek, 92% of brands plan to increase their spending on creators in 2024, and 36% plan to spend at least half of their entire digital marketing budget on creators.
The 2024 election could change the queer economy
During the Politics, Policy and Decolonization panel, Dr. David J. Johns said, "The last legislative cycle — that we are still in the middle of — has been the most traumatic for our community."
The ACLU is tracking 507 anti-LGBTQ bills across the country, and Dr. Johns added, "There have been nearly 100 anti-black, anti-[critical race theory] bills introduced at the local level."
These policies will send ripples through the queer economy, especially as we've seen policies like HB 599 in Florida, which will ban all LGBTQ+ nonprofits.
Our communities crave vulnerability and representation
Across the board, our communities are still craving vulnerability, representation, and connection during a time of rising political tensions — and LGBTQ+-owned businesses can create those safe spaces.
During the Body and Sex Positivity as a Career panel, health and fitness influencer Rey Reséndez discussed how sharing their story openly and vulnerably opened up new possibilities for them.
They said, "I just didn't think it would blow up in this way. I have collaborations whether, you know, with brands and organizations helping further trans rights in different capacities, whether that's content creation or speaking or doing workshops or working at conferences."
Across the country and the globe, the LGBTQ+ community still needs representation — and those willing to be vulnerable and serve with community stand to make a profit in 2024.