Young Entrepreneur: Jada Mclean

Turning Solutions into Entrepreneurial Success

For every problem, there’s a solution—and a dedicated entrepreneur can find that solution. It’s a philosophy that has guided Jada Mclean, 30, of San Francisco on her quest to make the world better while building a business and forging a professional path that she loves.

Mclean first developed an appreciation for entrepreneurship while working in investment banking. She frequently met with entrepreneurs and was inspired by how their companies solved problems for their customers. In 2020, she came up with a solution of her own.

Two major problems stood out to her at the time. In California, where she lived, wildfires were raging. Meanwhile, the country was being rocked by the racial reckoning following the murder of George Floyd.

As company after company pledged their support for social justice and the environment, Mclean wondered how many would actually follow through. That’s when the idea for GroFlo was born. “We set out to build a company that helps amplify brands that are really out there walking the walk,” she says.

GroFlo is a platform that connects consumers with brands that share their values. If you’re an animal lover, for example, you might use GroFlo to find retailers that sell only cruelty-free products. GroFlo also helps retailers in digital coupon campaigns, and in learning more about their customers.

The idea has gained traction among investors, with GroFlo raising $1.3 million in funding. While Mclean admits that her background in investment banking provided her with the knowledge and network to help secure the funding, she had to do her research to find the types of investors aligned with GroFlo’s mission and willing to support the company’s growth.

Mclean describes the work of building her company as a roller coaster, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. “I get to identify a problem and create a solution,” she says. “Then I get to see that creation live in the world, which is, in my mind, really amazing.”

—Tamara E. Holmes

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