Milford resident aims to help minority business owners succeed

MILFORD — Rosalee Daley’s desire to help Black entrepreneurial women build sustainable, efficient and profitable businesses has led her into the world of small business ownership.

Daley, a Milford resident, founded Rose Affect, an operation that focuses on assisting all businesses, and some of the companies she helps are run by minority men as well.

“I really wanted to cater to my community because I know we are the most in need,” she said. “The majority of my audience are minority women, usually age 25 to 35, and I have a big audience in New York and Georgia.”

The idea to start Rose Affect came from the time Daley was in banking as a branch manager, helping businesses set up their bank accounts and establish a foundation.

“I was in retail banking for the past 10 years and would work with a lot of business customers,” she said. “A lot of times, they didn’t have certain components set up for their business, and I would have to help them do that so that they wouldn’t get sent away.”

As the pandemic was starting to hit small businesses hard, Daley was helping companies apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans and making sure they had resources to get help.

“I lost my job at the end of the year, but I’m just a positive thinker, that everything happens for a reason,” she said. “Obviously at the moment, sometimes I can’t see why things are happening and still deal with those same woes and emotional roller coasters. (But) I always kept that mindset that this was setting up me for my next breakthrough.”

In 2020, Daley left corporate America and decided to turn her knowledge of helping businesses into a business of her own.

“I started the Rose Affect, and I also own a transportation company,” she said. “The transportation company allows me to work with small business owners to make sure that they’re really building the right foundations and have the financial literacy to make sure they’re sustaining and managing it properly.”

While working at the bank, Daley said she had the opportunity to develop different policies and procedures for the company, performed additional training and trained many leaders throughout her career.

“I knew I was good at that, so that’s why it was easy for me to transition over to the Rose Affect and keep that same momentum and do the same thing,” she said. “Because banking can seem complicated to some people if you don’t work in the bank, but it really isn’t. So, I learned how to simplify that.”

The Rose Affect is currently working with five businesses by coaching and mentoring them.

Daley said sometimes she would stay on with the business for up to three months to make sure it is fully set up, and then the owners can come to her as needed.

“The number one thing in our community, Black women, is the funding,” said Daley. “We don’t have access to funding. We all know we are starting these businesses at these astronomical rates, but we are closing within 18 months because we don’t have the support or the capital. So I make sure they set up their business a certain way they can get that funding and help to make sure they last.”

Daley said Black women are resilient, and many are also heading their households as single mothers.

“We are very compassionate and caring, and we bring that same energy into our business, and you see that by how we handle our customers, the fan base that we are able to build with our businesses,” she said. “You see it’s a different type of community. The culture too.”

Daley said one of her customers she works with has a specialty coffee brand.

“She’s probably one of the only Black women in Connecticut who has a specialty coffee brand,” she said. “So, we are getting into these industries that are not normally where you see us. Most of the time, you would see us in the retail space or service space. But I love when I see us going into these industries that are challenging ourselves, but also not keeping us not necessarily in that box.”

On the other end of the spectrum, Daley said Black entrepreneur women think they can do it all by themselves, and sometimes it is hard for them to ask for help.

“That’s where I come in because I allow women to feel comfortable enough, where they don’t have to ask for help. I’m just going to offer it,” she said. “Sometimes we need people to show up and offer it with nothing in exchange.”

Because Daley held many free events with Rose Affect, Black entrepreneur women were comfortable enough to come to her.

“We hosted a lot of free events. We were doing workshops. We taught at schools. We were doing financial literacy for different nonprofit organizations,” she said. “For me doing those service-based things, I started to make a name of myself, and people would come to me because they felt comfortable to talk to me. I do a lot of marketing on social media, and I do get a lot of clients from social media.”

When Daley talks to businesses, she tells them to ask for the help they need and not be afraid to expand the business.

“Hiring employees is a big thing because when you have somebody looking for you to pay them, sometimes you work a little harder,” she said. “Sometimes in our businesses, you see that we don’t have as many employees under us. It’s just we are solo-preneurs, and I feel like we are building big businesses, and it’s important for us to have that big business mindset, where we hire people that sometimes are more qualified than us to do the job, but we are leading them. We have the vision, and they help us bring it to life, and it’s OK.”

Because of the pandemic, Daley and her team had to rethink how business is done and what ways they could revolutionize it.

“A big thing with the Rose Affect, I always say, is about pivoting,” said Daley. “Sometimes, how you start is not how you are going to finish. So, I teach my people who I work with that yes, we have these visions we want to start. But when you test it out in the market, it doesn’t work, and it’s OK to pivot and change.”

Daley said as the world is turning, it is essential to support one another.

“Especially as the days come, a lot of things are ensuing, and I feel it’s important for us as a community to really be there for one another, and I do that through these businesses,” she said.