Jesseca Dupart headshot Entrepreneur Jesseca Dupart explains that giving back to the community doesn't always have to mean monetarily — it can also be done through knowledge, time and kindness. — Kaleidoscope Hair Products

Beauty entrepreneur Jesseca Dupart has always had a passion for helping others. When this now-former hairstylist founded Kaleidoscope Hair Products in 2014, her goal was to solve the hair growth issues she noticed her clients experiencing. As her business grew and reached new heights from retail deals with Target and Sally Beauty stores, Dupart dedicated herself to giving back, especially to her local community of New Orleans, Louisiana.

"I grew up in New Orleans and started my businesses there," said Dupart. "Throughout my career, I have donated to several businesses based in New Orleans, [because] giving back is a part of the Kaleidoscope DNA."

In the last several years, Dupart and her 501(c)(3) organization, Kaleidoscope Kares, have funded a gym for the New Orleans Police Department, donated bikes to school children and even broke the Guinness World Record for donating the most toys to children during the holiday season. This year, Dupart took her giving in a new direction, inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has affected all of us. As a woman and a mom, I jumped at the opportunity to empower young girls who may be struggling during this virtual school year.

Jesseca Dupart, founder, Kaleidoscope Hair Products

Bridging the digital divide in New Orleans

In the modern world, the internet has become an integral part of job opportunities, education and civic engagement. Internet access has become essential in the age of remote work and virtual learning, but there are many parts of the country where steady broadband access is limited.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has aimed to close this gap by encouraging programs that "bridge the digital divide" in America. Dupart's own #BridgetheDigitalDivide initiative will help support WiFi for over 8,000 residents per month — 25% of the city's population — in eight community centers across New Orleans. The program is coupled with THRIVE! E-Workshops to build confidence and set goals.

"The pandemic has affected all of us," Dupart told CO—. "As a woman and a mom, I jumped at the opportunity to empower young girls who may be struggling during this virtual school year."

[Read: Building Your Reputation in the Community? 3 Tips for Getting Involved]

To her fellow entrepreneurs who want to make a difference and start giving back to their local communities, Dupart recommends finding and supporting a cause that holds special meaning.

"The city of New Orleans is the original home to my brand Kaleidoscope Hair Products and Kaleidoscope Kares, so it meant the world to me to give back to the city where it all started," she said.

And remember, she said, if money is tight for your business, giving isn't limited to monetary donations.

"There are efforts in donating time, knowledge, encouraging words," Dupart said. "Whatever you can within your reach is a great start. If I can do it, anyone can do it." Follow Kaleidoscope Hair Products on Instagram: @kaleidoscopehairproducts.

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Published December 01, 2020