Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nichole Pitts, Founder of Ethintegrity, located in Atlanta, GA, USA

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Ethintegrity is a boutique consulting firm focusing on a culture-based approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and ethics & compliance. I use innovative techniques to help organizations drive awareness and implement sustainable programs, resulting in a diverse and ethical culture embedded in the organization’s DNA. My clients have included UNOPS, Warner Music Group, Eurosport, United International Pictures, and more.

Tell us about yourself

Hi there, I’m Nichole Pitts, the Founder & CEO of Ethintegrity. Receiving a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law was only the beginning of my story and a bit of a boring start, to be honest. But everything changed when my love of travel kickstarted an adventure into the world of Ethics & Compliance. Helping clients all over the world allowed me to meet new people, take in diverse perspectives, and practice using guidance from the US Department of Justice to teach “best practice” ethics.

Seeing how I could help people take real action toward diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) gave me a sense of purpose that I had been missing. However, I soon learned my approach had its limits, and they only amplified when I started my own company. Because while my background and training prepared me to navigate difficult conversations and dangerous situations abroad, I was also exposed to my own biases and realized that one size doesn’t fit all. That one person’s definition of “good” doesn’t always capture the nuance needed in different cultural or business settings.

Now I fill a void in my industry by helping clients seek more nuanced, creative, and digestible ways to solve complex Ethics & Compliance, and DEI problems. Empowering them to forge a path into a future where a healthy, diverse culture drives business and creativity helps them thrive. One size does not fit all. When the company I was working for moved me to Paris in 2015 to head up ethics & compliance for their international business, I took the same approach that had worked for me in the US.

However, I soon realized that one size does not fit all. Each country and office had its own organizational culture, and I couldn’t train or socialize the policies the same way across the globe. I had to take a different approach, which led to me focusing on diversity and inclusion to understand and address biases in our systems and procedures to identify & mitigate risk effectively.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner so far has been to successfully transform my business model from a more "corporate" persona to being authentically me. What I mean by this is that I sat down and figured out what I am passionate about and shifted my thinking from being profit-driven to being in service.

This mindset shift has allowed me to create creative & captivating services and courses to connect with clients and empower them to make impactful changes in their organizations and society. Moving from thinking about the bottom line to inclusively designing their products and services so that humanity benefits instead of just select groups.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is that it can be lonely (especially if you're a solopreneur) and that you have the ultimate decision rights, so if something fails, that is completely on you. I like to reframe this as an opportunity for growth and think of missteps as failing forward.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Understand Your Ideal Client Demographics. Who are you trying to market to. This is where we get specific. For example, do you state that your ideal client is a women entrepreneur? If so, are they specifically cis-gendered women, or are you also including trans women and non-binary? If so, then you may want to ensure your marketing materials use “womxn” vs. “women” to show this inclusion. Doing some market research with your desired client base will provide rich feedback about the type of demographics you should ensure your address in your marketing campaigns.
  2. Services & Products Designed Inclusively. Inclusive design is an approach/mindset/practice that ensures everyone across the full range of human diversity, regardless of their identity or background, can fully access and benefit from products, services, and environments that you create. Have you ensured that your product or service is accessible to your ideal client base? This is where the feedback from your ideal client proves to be invaluable.
  3. Executing Marketing & Communications Effectively. How accessible are your marketing tools? Have you ensured that it is accessible (i.e., website and emails)? Do you serve clients around the world? If so, have you considered having your website translated to broaden your appeal and client base? Are you using the demographics of your ideal client in your marketing campaigns? And do you have a “crisis plan” in place to help you quickly and effectively manage any unanticipated backlash from marketing?

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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