Photo: Accenture UK
Move over LinkedIn, now there’s a professional networking platform just for people like you! Black Young Professionals (BYP) is an app-based community that is connecting Black professionals and students with each other and corporations. The app has been downloaded in 65 countries and the BYP network has a reach in the tens of thousands. With a total of over $250,000 invested into the BYP Network and backing by Sky Corporation, London Stock Exchange and Mayor’s International Business Programme, BYP is definitely on the move.
BYP is helping Black professionals network and find job opportunities in a fresh way. They offer a social app available for download on iOS, Android and web. BYP also hosts a leadership conference, which is designed to help Black professionals connect with leaders from the business world and forge connections that will help them advance in their industries. This year’s event was attended by over 800 delegates. BYP is not only career focused but in a sense, it is its own hub of activism. According to the company’s Founder, “On platforms like Twitter, we tweet, we complain but there’s not much action. We need a platform where we can actually work together around the globe to solve our problems.” Black talent is plentiful, BYP is simply connecting it.
Kike Oniwinde is the Founder and CEO of BYP. She grew up in a touch neighborhood in East London, one of three siblings raised by a single mom. Kike earned a spot as a Great Britain junior athlete in javelin and earned a college degree. She earned a scholarship to the University of Florida, where she earned a Master’s in Management. When she started out, Kike knew nothing about fundraising and certainly didn’t know all the right steps to take but BYP is here and people are noticing. In fact, Kike made the Forbes 2019 30 Under 30 list (at age 26) and across the globe, Black professionals and corporations alike are looking to her. Leadership isn’t about age or background but rather, vision.
BYP is a powerful platform, the potential of which is unbounded. This tool has the potential to connect Black professionals globally, allowing connections that 10 years ago weren’t possible. There is no way to predict how many ventures will be launched, because of connections made on the platform. More than anything, BYP illustrates the possibility of Black people building their own and that is a good thing.