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Black Young Professional Network to hit £500k funding target

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by Startacus Admin

BYP Network investmentBYP Network, a platform for black professionals to connect with each other for networking purposes and with corporations for career opportunities, has set about raising £500k via an Equity Crowdfunding campaign, on Seedrs, as part of a wider £2m round.

Tackling the whole journey from grassroots to senior managers by providing a growth pipeline that focuses on mentorship, peer collaborations and career development, BYP Network has created and grown a leading online community and series of events to bring together these ambitious future leaders.

BYP’s funding round was timed to coincide with this year's Blackout Day, where the world will be coming together to only spend money in black-owned businesses and aims to BYP Network investmentcreate a more diverse pool of investors, particularly within the black community, as investors can invest with as little as £10.

Investment into black-owned businesses can be hard to come by, particularly when there is a lack of diversity within investment companies.

Research into ethnic diversity within top financial investment managers in companies across the UK revealed only 1% of investment managers identifying as black. Statistics also show only 0.2% of investments in Europe last year went to black female founders. Our recent Future Fund article on Startacus touched on this.

The funds will be used to grow their member base from 40,000 to over 500,000 and to scale their team to better serve growing demand.

With tens of millions black professionals online and over $200bn spending in the recruitment market, BYP Network aims to be the number one global platform for all things black professionals and the solution to workplace diversity for the black community.

BYP Network offers recruitment, retention and employer branding solutions to their corporate partners including their job board, conferences and webinars and internal culture analysis.

They’ve worked with the likes of Google, Facebook, Adobe, and Airbnb to improve job applications, black role model visibility and employer communications to the community.

BYP Network co-founder, Kike Oniwinde found investment for BYP difficult:

Kike Oniwinde“Black founders struggle to raise funding especially here in the UK. During this climate of brands and companies showing solidarity with the black community, barely any UK VC published a statement let alone commit funds to support founders.

This is why our crowdfunding is important, I believe our longer-term partnership with Seedrs can be part of the solution for black founders to gain funding from their community and supporters. However, UK VCs should be investing a minimum of 3% to black founders to be represented of the national statistic.”

Startacus thoughts

Kike and the BYP Network team are shining examples & beacons within the UK startup scene and the platform is a great example for others of a relevant community platform that continues to grow and scale. With a target to reach 500,000 members, we can't help but think that their wider £2m round will follow and we are confident that the £500k raise via equity Crowdfunding platform Seedrs will happen in the coming days.

We've been privileged to follow the BYP Network journey from early-stages through to now raising investment, and to help where possible to highlight the clear historical disadvantages that black founders, female founders and others face.

BYP Network and other like-minded entrepreneurs and individuals, empower us to continue the Startacus mission - and to help in a small way and when possible, to remove those barriers to entry and success.


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Published on: 7th July 2020

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