Ava McDonald Founder & CEO of Zfluence

Ava McDonald the founder and CEO of an emerging influencer marketing company shares her journey with us and how she plans to disrupt the industry that is on track to become $10 billion. 

Here is her Under 25 story!

“My business, Zfluence, is the first digital platform that is empowering members of my generation (Generation Z) to become ambassadors for the brands and non-profit organizations they authentically love.

We are redefining the way brands and members of Generation Z interact on social media and making influence marketing on Instagram more ethical. We have received some great press coverage in Austin since we launched, which you can see here

I started Zfluence in March 2019 because I saw a dangerous trend developing on Instagram—one where influencers were promoting brands that they may not even use or like simply to earn cash. I saw this as a slippery slope that would lead to an inauthenticity epidemic on Instagram. To ensure that my generation’s social media platforms remain relevant and authentic, I wanted to develop a way for members of Gen Z to take control and put an end to that trend.

The biggest challenge I’ve faced is learning to manage my time effectively! It’s not easy to start and operate a business while in high school and participating actively on our school’s dance team, Quiz Bowl team, and in Model UN; while taking a six-college-credit course in Social Entrepreneurship from UC San Diego; and while taking part-time jobs to help fund my business. Time management has gotten even more important as my business has taken off. 

We now have more than 300 influential members of Generation Z on 33 campuses nationwide working with 24 local and national brands. In addition, I have hired student Campus Directors at the University of Texas at Austin, Southern Methodist University, and Baylor University and am hiring more Campus Directors this fall.

We have even been adopted as a case study in the Fall 2019 MBA curriculum at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. To make it all work, I’ve learned to make use of every free moment I have, from passing periods (the few minutes I have while moving from one class to another) to evenings and weekends, after my homework is done. 

My goal is to continue to grow Zfluence and expand our reach to 100 major university campuses across the country.”

As a full-time student, working part-time jobs and trying to get her business going, Ava has her plate more than full. We love this kind of enthusiasm and dedication from young entrepreneurs! 

The Under 25 section of 1PRCNT is meant to showcase to everyone that there are plenty of young entrepreneurs out in the business world making strides to better themselves and the world around them. 

If you are an entrepreneur under the age of 25 and have a story you would like to share then please feel free to email us and we would love to interview you! 

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