ED&WHY Series: 5 takeaways from our conversation with Dan Fico

Our ED&WHY Series is here to not only educate you on subjects within the ED&I space, but to provide the WHY behind them. 

We believe that using our platform to help amplify the voices of people with lived experiences around topics and empowering them to share their stories, that this will help bring about conversations and these conversations will lead to further change.

In Episode 3, we talk to Dan Fico (he/him), founder of Queer LGBTQ+ inclusive establishments Atlas Grinds and House of Hades


During the discussion we ask the following questions:

- Tell us about your experience of being a queer business owner?

- What challenges have you faced being queer in your career / business?

- Tell us about the Atlas Grinds empire and the inspiration behind it?

- Why is it so important for the community to have safe queer spaces?

- What advice would you give to fellow queer entrepreneurs?

- If people want to swing by for a coffee/cocktail where can they find you?


The full 8 minute conversation can be found on our youtube channel , but for those of you who came here just for the highlights, we've listed some below for you [although the video is there to watch afterwards too, and is full of lived experience gems].


1. Community matters - the demand for safe spaces is very high amongst the community, with lots of our spaces centered around nightlife, it's important we have cultural hubs that recognise our history and celebrate our differences in an environment that is welcoming and not just centered around alcohol.

2. One of the main challenges for queer businesses is the monetisation of queers during PRIDE (and outside of it) from businesses who are not queer owned whacking up a pride flag on the door or map apps, but do nothing to foster inclusivity for the community.

3. The queer business owner struggle is often second guessing yourself over how you can be accepted, but also staying true to your values. This also applies to the wider LGBTQ+ community's struggles in the workplace unfortunately.

4. Before starting your own business it's important to understand your core values. If you come into the business world and really want to make change and have success, you may need to assess what are you willing to compromise on and what things you will never compromise on.

5. You can be a queer business, or you can be a queer in business. You can make change through both routes.


Go on, these are just a few of the many amazing learnings from this exchange, have a watch below: 

Or you can visit both venues and say hi to Dan in person! Visit Atlas Grinds or Visit House of Hades 

Be sure to check out the other episodes in our ED&I series too, ED&I in Travel & Hospitality Degrees and ADHD Discussion 

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19th May

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