We are excited to feature one of our 2022 Women of Color Incubator Pitch Competition winners. These up-and-coming Black women business owners are sure to inspire and motivate other young Black women entrepreneurs, and all of us, to pursue their own business ventures.

Meet Guilandia Aristilde, Owner and Director of Our Children’s Village LLC and 3rd Place Awardee from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.

What inspired you to start your business?

My lack of childcare as a child inspired me to start my own business as the daughter of a single mother who worked as a nurse during the evenings. I was often left at the house while my mother worked. Now that I am an adult, I can only imagine the fear with which she had to leave us. The feeling that she had no other place to leave us that was safer than our house by ourselves led me to start my business to allow parents like my mother who must work non-traditional business hours to do so. To create a safe, nurturing environment, parents could leave their children 24 hours a day.

What has the entrepreneurship journey looked like for you so far?

The entrepreneurial journey has looked to me so far like a roller coaster. Trying to navigate the Department of Children and Families applications, trying to figure out how to create legal documentation for my company. Has been extremely challenging but also very informative. It taught me something about myself and perseverance as I stepped into this new dimension.

What has been the most rewarding part of being a young female entrepreneur?

The most rewarding part of being a young female entrepreneur for me has been. Knowing that the seed that I am planting today will be able to feed a community of people. When I think of the children that I will be impacting and the families. I lose my breath, thinking of providing workers with an empowering career as a childcare worker. Lastly, getting to be excited about the process and that journey of creating something great. What I love most about being a young female entrepreneur is the mentality if I can do it, you can too. I am a full-time college student, I have a part-time job, and I am a full-time entrepreneur. The reward for me is knowing that the seed that has been placed inside of me will transform so many people ‘s perspectives about what they can do. With the time they have been granted on this earth and the resources they have access to.

Where do you see yourself in one year? How about 5 years?

I see myself owning a commercial property and being established as a childcare facility. In about five years, I see myself owning three childcare facilities in Brownsville, New York; Tallahassee, Florida; and Atlanta, Georgia. Serving 120 families at each center, becoming a national franchise.

What advice would you give to other female founders just starting their business?

If I had to give advice to other female entrepreneurs just starting out. I would say first having a vision is one thing, planning is another. Then putting action into it is different ball game. As a spiritual woman, I would say that God will always make away. He is waiting on you to do your part so that he can lead and guide you. The money will come, the resources will come, and the business will flourish, but you must start. And sometimes getting started is as easy as creating an Instagram page or another type of social media platform. Sometimes that means applying for a grant that you don’t even think you’re going to qualify for. Sometimes that means joining organizations that are going to build up your confidence so that you can have the courage to advocate for your business as a founder. Sometimes that means being the role model you want other businesswomen entrepreneurs to look up to. Sometimes it means creating a space where other women feel comfortable asking for advice. If you take nothing else away from this, trust the process, and everything will work out for the best.

How did you first learn about the WBENC WOC Incubator?

I first learned about the incubator program in an email. My university sent out a flyer stating that they are having this woman of color business program. All female students are welcome, whether they have an established business or not. I told myself that this is something that I could really see myself trying to do.

How would you describe your experience?

My experience in the women’s incubator program has been a memorable time in my life. I felt like when I first came in, I had a vision and an idea of what I initially thought my business would be like. And as time went on with the help of the amazing facilitators, I watched it transform into something greater.

What did you learn during the program that will help you grow your business?

 During my time in the incubator, I learned that. There are other moving components to running a business, such as being able to analyze a profit margin. Knowing what your niche is and being able to cater to your niche and create marketing strategies that are tailored. For specific population instead of trying to include everyone I can focus on my target audience and be able to narrow down who I want consumers to be.

What’s next for you and your business?

What is next for Our Children’s Village is to try to build a stronger clientele. I also would like to establish a childcare center for myself that would look like I could own a commercial property and transform it into a daycare and after-school center. My goal is to continue to procure funding for the goal that I have for myself, which looks like being able to serve 120 children and families in the Tallahassee area.


Guilandia Aristilde
Owner and Director | Our Children’s Village LLC