Vanessa Fajemisin | Black Entrepreneur Award
Company: Solid State Community Industries
The winner of the 2021 CANIE Black Entrepreneur Award is Vanessa Fajemisin, a co-director of Solid State, is a fourth-year student at Simon Fraser University, majoring in Communications. In addition to school, she works with the Daily Dose of Blackness cohort, is a member of the Ethos Lab team, and works as an Arts & Culture writer for Vice’s NoBasicGirlsAllowed.com. Passionate about all things (pop)culture, media, and social justice, Vanessa aims to combine her various interests and skills to aid in creating an inclusive, rewarding, and fun environment for her community.
Solid State builds co-ops, but it’s a lot more than that. Each co-op may be started by an individual youth or a group of youths, a mentor, or a local organization. Each group is made up of six to twelve youth with several mentors, all of whom are equal members. Members build skills, conduct community and market research and go through successive iterations of
an enterprise idea. As they work, Solid State supports them with insight and direction from professionals in the field, training, individual and group skills, education and employment opportunities, and a dense network of friends and colleagues.