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During a short business trip to Nigeria in 2015, Ike Okosa witnessed firsthand the nascent but bubbling tech ecosystem in the country. At the time, Okosa was running Swoop Media, a UK-based company that provided IT and digital marketing solutions to UK private schools. The UK-born entrepreneur, who was visiting for the first time in over a decade, admits he was unaware that the country had a tech ecosystem. However, attending the 2015 edition of Social Media Week in Lagos changed his notion, and he formed vital connections there that proved helpful in

In the last few decades, business activities around the globe have become increasingly mobile, and thankfully, Africa isn’t left out. The continent has become an eager adopter and innovator in virtually all things digital and mobile. The more than 122 million active users of mobile financial services across Africa lends credence to this claim. However, when choosing locations, innovators have to be deliberate as they need to consider who will use their products. Expert opinion has it that being intentional about where to locate a business strongly impacts growth prospects and profitability.

Systemic racism has created a world where I and many other Black people literally have to work twice as hard to get half as much. Since I’ve been able to work, I’ve worked multiple jobs. During summers growing up, I worked in the businesses started by my grandparents in Mobile, AL, and passed down to my father and his siblings. You could find me doing everything from working the register at their BP gas station to preparing sandwiches in my father’s Subway. When I went to college, despite having a full-ride academic

Five weeks ago I joined Brandwatch as their first-ever VP of Global Community and Belonging. The night before my first day I had the first-day jitters and tossed and turned in bed. The following thoughts ran circles around my mind, “What if my performance doesn’t live up to the expectations set in the recruitment process? What if important stakeholders are directly opposed to my views and approach?” And of course that age-old anxiety inducer: “What if I got it all wrong in the interviews and I just don’t vibe with

Hi there! You’ve likely landed on this page because you heard that, along with my co-founder Jesse Middleton, I launched a venture capital fund called The Community Fund. You’re likely wondering “what is this fund about and who is Lolita Taub?” Well, the short of it is that through the fund, we’ll invest in community-driven companies destined to become unicorns through an investment team, taking a page from XFactor’s playbook. As for me, I’m an unlikely VC fund manager. Yes, I have fourteen years of experience as an operator and investor in

August 13 marks Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. This is not a celebration. Instead, it represents the date that Black women must work into the new year to catch up to what White non-Hispanic men made at the end of the previous year. That’s an extra 226 days of work for Black women, who make just 62 cents for every dollar earned by non-Hispanic White men. This translates to corporate leaders attributing Black women’s worth as roughly three-fifths of the value of White men. This pay gap has a devastating impact. It means

Divided into winter and summer batches, US seed accelerator, Y Combinator (YC) invests $150,000 yearly in selected startups in exchange for 7% equity. However, starting from next year, the ticket size will reduce to $125k for the same amount of equity. Usually, these startups spend three months with the San Francisco-based accelerator before finishing off their activities with a Demo Day. But things have been slightly different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. While the 197 startups from the Winter batch had participated in some sessions in the Valley, they had to virtually

There’s a mad dash in the professional world to improve diversity. Every high-profile company is working to boost the statistics in hopes of a favorable public profile — one in which people from all backgrounds and ethnicities are welcome. The tech industry, especially, is at the forefront of this diversity movement as it’s come under fire more than other business categories. However, diversity statistics are just that — statistics. Without inclusion, diversity just creates another problem. That problem is tokenism. Tokenism is defined as the following: “the practice of making

Latinx founder numbers are growing at a faster rate than any other group and we’re expected to yield $1.4 Trillion in US GDP. A couple of years ago, I started my journey in supporting Latinx founders as an investor at Backstage Capital through the Accelerator and with this post. And I believe what I wrote then even more now! TL;DR Latinx entrepreneurs are a strong force to be reckoned with! With capital and support, we can grow our businesses to produce in the trillions — trillions that can better the lives of our

The “Pipeline” is Blocked At The Top — With the recent uprising against systemic racism in our governmental institutions and society, there has been an increased focus on the on the lack of funding for underrepresented founders. Only 1% of VC funded startup founders are Black, Latinas have received .04% of VC funding, women of color can expect an average of $42k seed funding vs. the average seed funding of $1m, the list of stats goes on. Yet the problem is far deeper than startup founder-level stats. It exists at the other side of

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