When I started BYP, it’s because I saw it being the future. Working in FinTech, I recognised the power of apps and tech, but I noticed diversity in this sector was what was missing, not only in terms of the lack of women but also the lack of black people. We all know diversity is the key to success in any organisation, and inclusion is vital for ensuring we keep progressing.
BYP is not just about connecting people with high-profile careers, it’s the app for Black young professionals worldwide. It’s about reaching professionals at the start of their career, in whatever industry they choose to work in, it’s about helping professionals to thrive in their work, and most of all, it’s about connecting our community.
Since its inception, BYP has done more than much more than provide a space for Black young professionals to network both online and offline, it’s changed the Black narrative. We’re so used to not seeing ourselves represented in certain sectors, and with BYP, our members have access to Black doctors, pharmacists, creatives and more.
This year has been life-changing for both myself and the organisation – we went from a community of 7000 to over 25000 in a matter of months, our summer social sold out, we held our first ever Diversity Recruitment Fair which had 900 sign ups, and our Christmas event is on the horizon – Xmas in Wakanda.
Biggest of all, we launched our job board. For the first time in history, there is a job site dedicated solely to Black young professionals and companies who are actively seeking Black talent and actively trying to diversify their staff.
It’s also been a year of change for me. When I started BYP, I didn’t expect it to grow so rapidly. Our team has grown, and we’re even more dedicated to growing and developing our network. I’ve had great opportunities, from being invited to Paris with Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, along with 12 other female founders from the fastest-growing companies in London as part of the Business Growth Programme, to speaking at events such as Meeting of the Minds. Having gone from working in the FinTech world to quitting and running BYP full-time has been a real change but it’s been the best year so far, and I can’t wait to see us grow.
At the heart of BYP is the Black community, so our organisation focuses on making our network accessible and open to all, and never exclusive. We want to change the narrative and we can only do this by being inclusive to all and working together.
Kike is the Founder and CEO of BYP Network, a platform for black young professionals to connect with each other and corporations. She has a BSc (Hons) Economics degree from the University of Nottingham and an MSc Management from the University of Florida. Kike is also a former Great Britain javelin thrower.@BYPNetworkApp