Name: Alika Hope
City/State/Country: Hartford, CT and New York City, NY / USA
Company Name: Ray of Hope Project
Title: President and CEO
LIONESS: How long have you been in business?
HOPE: 3 years.
LIONESS: Why have you chosen to dedicate yourself to this particular business/industry?
HOPE: Ray of Hope Project connects my two passions in life: performing and teaching. There is no other work I’d rather be doing.
LIONESS: What makes business/product unique?
HOPE: Our goal is to empower our audience to make a difference in the world around them through African-American spirituals, 20th century social justice music, readings of important people in history, and intense personal dialogue between participants. We do this by connecting with them on the heart level through music, and on the mind level through education.
LIONESS: You could have worked for anyone and would have been successful, why become an entrepreneur?
HOPE: It happened organically. Honestly, I didn’t set out to be an entrepreneuer, but as the project grew, I realized it revolved around my vision, and I needed to be at the helm.
LIONESS: What was your last, “why did I go into business for myself” moment?
HOPE: When one of my main musicians had a personal emergency the morning of concerts in three schools two hours away. I thought I’d have to pretend I was a guitarist, a man, and a drummer all at the same time!
LIONESS: Every female professional should have ____?
HOPE: The opportunity to incorporate her femininity into her leadership style, and to not feel like she has to supress it.
LIONESS: If you could steal some business mojo from another mogul, who would it be and why?
HOPE: Harriet Tubman. She had the tenacity, the grit, the dedication to keep going back and helping more slaves escape. When I get tired, thinking of her boundless energy rejuvenates me.
LIONESS: What is your business motto?
HOPE: “Feel the Music, Change the World”
LIONESS: If you could give other entrepreneurs three tips, what would they be?
HOPE: 1) Always be true to yourself and your vision. 2) Learn to ask for help from people you trust. 3) Be open to change.
LIONESS: Has there been a piece of technology or software that has been a lifesaver to you?
HOPE: Social Media has introduced us to people all over the world, it has increased our business significantly.
LIONESS: What is your goal for the next year?
HOPE: To connect with the new federal administration in order to expand our work at the national level.
LIONESS: When someone is telling their friend about your business, what do you hope they say?
HOPE: After working with the Ray of Hope Project, I am inspired to use my gifts to make the world a more peaceful place.
Learn more about Ray of Hope Project!