Empowering Women in Scotland with Bayile Adeoti

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In the realm of social entrepreneurship, women’s empowerment and business support for underrepresented communities, one name shines bright in the Scottish business landscape: Bayile Adeoti. 

With an impressive list of accomplishments and accolades, Adeoti has established herself as a driving force behind positive change and economic transformation in Scotland. Her unwavering commitment to fostering social enterprise and uplifting women in business has earned her numerous prestigious titles and positions, making her a true trailblazer.

With an impressive background spanning 12 years in the hospitality industry, encompassing diverse roles in marketing, operations, and consulting, Bayile Adeoti is a distinguished social entrepreneur and project manager. Throughout her career, she has held pivotal positions such as Operations Consultant for numerous hospitality establishments, showcasing her expertise in the field. Armed with various Management and Leadership qualifications, Adeoti embarked on a transformative journey, culminating in establishing Dechomai in 2015. Dechomai is a social enterprise dedicated to empowering Black and Minority Ethnic individuals, equipping them with leadership and entrepreneurial skills to attain financial independence.

Adeoti’s passion for fostering the development and mentorship of young Black and ethnic minority women to becoming leaders and catalysts for change is evident in her extensive involvement. Leading from the front, Bayile Adeoti currently serves as the President of Scottish Women in Business, a position she assumed in October 2022. Adeoti provides invaluable guidance and support to female entrepreneurs in this influential role, enabling them to thrive and succeed in the often challenging business world. Her dedication to championing the cause of women’s entrepreneurship is further evident through her position as a Women’s Enterprise Scotland Ambassador, a role she has held since January 2022.

Adeoti’s journey in entrepreneurship started early, as exemplified by her membership on the Young Enterprise Alumni Board since 2021. Her involvement in this esteemed organisation speaks volumes about her commitment to nurturing and mentoring the next generation of business leaders. She shares her experiences, insights, and expertise as a board member to help young entrepreneurs build sustainable and impactful ventures.

Recognising her outstanding contributions to social enterprise and her influential voice in the field, Bayile Adeoti was appointed the Co-Chair of the Social Enterprise Equalities Group within the Scottish Government Steering Committee. Her role in shaping policies and strategies ensures that social enterprises across Scotland are given the necessary support and resources to drive positive change while promoting inclusivity and equality.

Adeoti’s commitment to the social enterprise sector is further demonstrated through her involvement as a committee member on the Scottish Government Steering Committee for Social Enterprise. Working closely with government officials, she contributes her expertise and perspectives to shape initiatives that foster growth and innovation within the social enterprise ecosystem, benefiting communities and individuals across Scotland.

Adeoti’s outstanding achievements have not gone unnoticed, as she has garnered prestigious accolades, including being named a WISE100 Leading Woman in Social Enterprise in Furthermore, her organisation, Dechomai, has been recognised as one of the SE100 Top 100 Social Enterprises in 2022, solidifying its impact and significance within the sector. Additionally, she has been acknowledged as one to watch in the Social Entrepreneur Index and listed among The Telegraph NatWest 100 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2022.

    Despite all her professional endeavours, Adeoti finds time to give back to her community. Her passion for nurturing young talent earned her the esteemed Young Enterprise Scotland Volunteer of the Year title in 2022. This recognition underscores her dedication to supporting and inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs.

      What factors and experiences motivated your journey to Scotland and shaped your path in the impactful work you pursue today?

      I had no choice as my dad was studying at Glasgow University when I was only ten, so we moved. It was a complete contrast to when I’d lived in England. I had to take a proactive approach to encourage the leadership and enterprise of women and people from ethnic minorities. Growing up in Glasgow, I found no role models from Ethnic Minority (EM) origins within the hospitality industry. I believed there were several barriers to entry for racial and ethnic minorities, some of which I had to overcome, including educational qualifications, resources, and access to financial capital. While overcoming these barriers, I formed my organisation, Dechomai, to explore utilising my specialised business knowledge and experience to serve the EM community.

      What are some of the biggest challenges facing black Scottish entrepreneurs?

      Before looking at this, we must recognise that Scotland doesn’t offer specialised support for Ethnic Minorities. All support available falls under equalities (Disability, LGBTQ, Race), and there has also been no research or support for research on ethnic minority entrepreneurship since 2017, meaning a lack of specialised support for Black entrepreneurs.

      Please provide insights into your upcoming initiatives and goals for the next 12 months.

      We want to expand our services, beginning with Launching our courses in Malawi, Ghana, and Uganda. Also, to enrol 50 women in the first cohorts of our enterprise course and start offering Micro Financing by 2024. We are launching a tech offering we’ve worked on for the past 18 months. 

      To learn more about Bayile and her work

      Photo Credits: Glasgow Tech Fest