When Kara was just 16, she decided to start her own nonprofit organization to empower girls across her community. She saw so many girls in her neighborhood start to hate themselves or dumb themselves down when they reached middle school, and Kara wanted to do something to change that pattern. Since the girls she wanted to target were around the age when teens first start to heavily use the internet and social media, she decided the best thing she could was to develop a social media site that would be a positive, welcoming, and affirming place for girls to go and connect with each other. With her vision clear, she sat down to figure out what she needed to do.
First, she knew that the kind of website she wanted to build was probably more than what a free hosting site could offer, so she would need to look into managed server hosting to allow her the ability to build what she wanted. Managed server hosting would take a huge administrative burden off of Kara. She also knew she was going to need some people with more IT expertise than her and could preferably also provide managed server hosting. She learned that businesses choose to outsource all of the IT needs. The IT companies can provide business with a variety of different services and give a stable and predictable price to provide those services. Plus, bringing on an IT consulting firm would mean she would have someone to give her expertise on how to best take advantage of all the IT options available.
She decided to start contacting some IT consulting firms that specialized in managed hosting services. She also figured she should focus on those companies that were familiar with small business IT consulting because she would be starting small. During her search into IT support services, she found a company that was owned by a woman early in her career and passionate about social justice. Kara decided it couldn’t hurt to call the business owner and discuss the details of partnering.
A few day’s later, Kara’s parents dropped her off at a local coffee shop to meet with Susan, the woman who started an IT consulting firm. Susan immediately loved Kara’s idea for a safe and supportive social networking site for young girls to help insulate them from self-esteem issues. Susan explained to Kara exactly what type of “back end” technology running such a site would require. Kara’s eyes started to glaze a bit when she saw thing and after thing be added to this list and worried there was no way she would be able to save enough money from her after school job to ever swing it.
At the end of Susan’s explanation, she looked up at Kara and said “Lucky for you, you don’t have to worry about hiring someone to do those things because I will do them for free.” Kara almost couldn’t believe what she heard. Susan said she wanted to bring on some of her friends in marketing an design to help, too. Kara was so excited to get to work to make her dream come true!
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