The game-changing platform for black and brown women entrepreneurs.
Black entrepreneurship and businesses are extremely important and fundamental to the development of our community. Having black-owned businesses creates generational wealth and enables minority communities to end poverty.
However, black people have an extremely difficult head start in business in terms of climbing the financial ladder and moving forward. Due to the systematic oppression that is put in place in our society. Even more so when it comes to black and brown women.
In light of this issue, we discovered an amazing platform that aims to combat this industry infrastructure, to ensure that B&B women get a fighting chance to succeed and make a difference.
BuildHer is a crowdfunding platform aimed at raising money through rewards-based contributions for the most historically underfunded & under-supported group; women of ‘Black Origin’.
The platform highlights the ideas, innovations, causes, and businesses of B&B women and girls from all over the world, in hopes of a more bright and empowered future.
Founded by DamiLola Bisuga Soyoye, we interviewed the CEO to find out how this idea started, her hopes for the future, and what is needed for B&B women to thrive in business.
CEO of BuildHer
DamiLola Bisuga Soyoye
What inspired you to start BuildHer?
I started BuildHer out of frustration. I was angry with how black and brown women were continuously disrespected and disregarded. I felt that economics and financial power was the way we could start to move ahead and be respected.
“Black women's creations and influence can be seen worldwide. Black women’s faces however seem to be deliberately hidden or whitewashed.”
How does the platform work?
Any woman from almost any country can apply/register with BuildHer. We are UK based but that doesn't stop women based in Africa or Spain or elsewhere from utilising our services.
There is an application you complete which gives us initial information about you and your proposed project.
Once this is passed and approved by our team, we support you to create your campaign page and ensure that finalised work is of the highest standard. A great campaign page with an interesting video, enticing giveaways, and an emotive story is half of the work.
We find candidates or campaigners from all over the world. Social media has been a powerful marketing tool for us. We have since been recognised by mainstream press and media which has brought many opportunities to us.
We have had a campaigner based all the way in Madagascar!
How amazing and random is that?
We also do a lot of interviews, live feeds, and promotions in the places where we know our target women hang out and socialise.
What needs to change in society in order for B&B Women to thrive in
life and business?
Oh sis, there is work to be done but we are making movements already. We need more opportunities for women to get their bag and cheques and utilise this in the best way possible.
Statistically, it is proven that Caucasian men have it much easier to have access to capital… That's 'white male privilege'.
On the other hand, Black women have several hurdles to jump through to get a fraction of the money. So we need allies, we need connections, we need the gatekeepers and fundholders to recognise unconscious bias and go out of their way to provide capital and opportunities to B&B women.
When black female-owned businesses approach big mainstream businesses for
sponsorship opportunities, those big businesses should support us if it's aligned with their core values.
What is it like being a CEO?
Being a Founder/CEO is amazing in one sense because you have pride and satisfaction in seeing something that you created that was once in your head, now your seeing it, it's real, real people are engaging with it and you have a real team working on projects. Sometimes I look back to the start of this year 2020 when honestly it was just a twinkle in my eye, and I'm happy with how far we've come but there is a long way to go.
On the other hand… Sis. ..it can be hard! Knowing you are ultimately responsible for this thing dying or growing is a lot. Knowing you're responsible for paying real people's salaries, that have real families etc. Is not easy.
You have to always show that you're doing your best to make the right choices in the best interests of the business, clients, and team.
My husband keeps me sane and balanced and reminds me to take things easier.
I'm a qualified Nurse by profession but I've always had entrepreneurial desires so this was inevitable.
What do you consider to be your biggest achievement for the platform so far?
Our biggest achievements are honestly some of the women who have been able to raise thousands of pounds because of BuildHer.
It has also been a highlight to be recognised by some major publications in the UK and US.
What are your hopes for the future of the platform?
I hope in the near future we can announce partnerships with huge financial institutions like VISA or Paypal or similar, in which they are ready to support the women on our platform, to provide them with more opportunities to raise money, get grant funding and enable them to make their creations into reality.
I also hope that we have our first million pound/euro/dollar campaign!
That would be some real #Blackgirlmagic
DamiLola and her team at BuildHer is exactly the type of platform we need to ensure that we break financial barriers and uplift women. Not only is it necessary but it is utterly inspiring the work that they are doing and we are excited to support them!
We urge our culture collective allies to engage with the BuildHer platform to help make it grow and support the talented B&B women featured! You can follow and find out more by following these accounts.