Delali Dzirasa founded the digital services company Fearless in 2009 in his basement in Laurel. His idea was to “build software with a soul” that makes a difference in the world.
By 2010, the company had added a few more employees and moved to an office at the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s business incubator. The focus shifted to winning federal contracts and expanding its team. It now takes up four floors of office space at the Spark Baltimore co-working space located at Power Plant Live!
Dzirasa’s leadership style is best described as servant leadership with a focus on enablement. He said his role is to help Fearless team members and its clients grow and do the best work they can.
Those efforts have come into sharp focus during the pandemic. From calling a family meeting on racial injustice to writing a playbook on crisis leadership, Dzirasa said he wants to make sure the team knows he’s there for them.
Over the past six months or so, the company has made a continual effort to check in on people, see how team members could support needs and look out for one another, in general. That focus on creating belonging and developing safe spaces is part of Fearless’ culture code.
In mid-March, the company switched to a completely remote work environment. Fearless has always had flexible working hours but that became even more important as people juggled homeschooling with work.
Fearless was also part of the Small Business Administration’s efforts to disperse Paycheck Protection Program loans to businesses across the country.
A Fearless team built an application that allowed smaller banks who usually do not work with the SBA to deliver loan funds to
small businesses in need.
“It is incredibly humbling to be recognized alongside so many other outstanding CEOs. I am passionate about making an impact, and I’m proud Fearless has been able to support our clients on initiatives that boost the economies of disadvantaged communities, help millions
of entrepreneurs build their businesses, and keep our country safe.”
“I am passionate about making an impact, and I’m proud Fearless has been able to support our clients on initiatives that boost the economies of disadvantaged communities, help millions of entrepreneurs build their businesses, and keep our country safe.”