After an intense week visiting major places in Atlanta and meeting incredible African American entrepreneurs, the young black men from Hackney CVS are back in London, inspired and motivated as ever, and ready to take their career plan to the next level.
BTEG had the chance to meet with some of these young men to talk about this life changing trip and their “new resolutions”. Their positive energy was palpable as well as their eagerness to share their experience. When asked about their exciting sojourn to Atlanta, five words resonated among all of them: “We want to go back”. However, they all recognised that coming back to London was necessary. In fact, this trip to the home of Martin Luther King broadened their vision and made them realise that there is a lot to be done in London especially in black communities. For these young men, going to Atlanta was not only needed, insightful and powerful, but it was also inspiring as they met entrepreneurs at the top of their craft and had the opportunity to witness in six days, what Bola Abisogun FRICS built in 16 years. Surprisingly, they didn’t expect this trip to have such an impact on them. As young black men in Atlanta, they didn’t feel like a minority. The environment they interacted with, the people they met and how they were being addressed influenced the way they carried themselves. Better yet, the language they used to describe themselves also changed: they became entrepreneurs. They were also struck by the many initiatives humble and hardworking African American entrepreneurs took to empower their community especially young people.
Amongst these initiatives is the Allen Entrepreneurial Institute whose aim is to give young people the opportunity to become leaders and entrepreneurs as well as developers of communities and creators of jobs. Hackney CVS young men also noticed that in Atlanta, there is a strong unity within the black community, a high respect for black-owned business and most importantly, young people are encouraged to be the best they can be. This is why, back in Hackney with a self-belief at 100%, the young men have created a network to encourage and support each other, as they are ready to be at the top of their craft and build their own legacy.
They also feel the importance to be role models to young black men in empowering them to achieve great things, and to use the knowledge they gain in Atlanta to bring positive changes to London’s black communities. The first step toward these changes has to be unity within the communities then respect and development of black-owned business. There is also a need for a shift of focus that is to say; creating a movement whereby entrepreneurship is every young black men aspiration.
To Hackney CVS visionaries, as we would like to call them, these great ideas for changes wouldn’t have been strengthened if not for Bola Abisogun FRICS, Mike Williams (Urbanis) and Jeremy Crook OBE (BTEG), who inspired and encouraged them, and enabled this trip to Atlanta, a place which now occupies an important place in their life. In return, BTEG would like to thank Deji Adeoshun, Kenny Ladipo, Samson Osun, Daniel Burnett-Williams, Nathan De-Souza, Brian Ohouot and Awat Kiflyesus for sharing their experience, and wishes them all the best in their future plans.
To learn more about this trip to Atlanta, click here