NEW FRDM: Business Beyond the Binary (A)
In this two-part case, in case A, a non-binary entrepreneur founded New FRDM Bodywear Ltd. (NEW FRDM) in 2015 in Toronto, Canada. The apparel and accessories company produced underwear for transgender and gender nonconforming individuals. While growing their business as a sole proprietorship, the founder sought out a mentorship opportunity through ACME Entrepreneurship Incorporated but was concerned about a request to censor NEW FRDM's website and messaging content. The founder had to decide whether to stray from NEW FRDM's original business model and accept the opportunity. In case B, over a year later, the entrepreneur was presented with new potential mentorship opportunities from three different programs. Build Your Best focused on female entrepreneurs and offered a permanent workspace and prestigious contacts in the industry. Womentrepreneur Network seemed to offer superior mentorship, non-financial resources, and promising events, but it seemed to be explicitly intended for people who identified as women. Out and Proud! offered one-on-one mentorship and large events and was explicitly focused on LGBTQ2+ businesspeople. The founder again faced the issue of having to change or abandon NEW FRDM's business model to take advantage of one or more of these significant business opportunities. Lawrence A. Plummer is affiliated with Ivey Business School.