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Oyinkansola Adebayo, Founder and CEO, The Niyo Group
Entrepreneurship

Oyinkansola Adebayo, Founder and CEO, The Niyo Group

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SPECIAL FEATURE FOR THE ‘MIDLANDS ENTREPRENEURS SHAPING THE FUTURE’ CAMPAIGN IN PARTNERSHIP WITH LLOYDS BANK

Oyinkansola is the driving force behind Niyo, an esteemed collective of companies renowned for their expertise in leveraging technology to empower black women aspioneers in the tech industry.

 

With three distinct brands under its umbrella, Niyo Hair and Beauty, Niyo Dapp, and Niyo Bootcamps, this organisation has been a catalyst for economic empowerment. Niyo Group employs 20 staff members spanning two continents, with team members based in Nigeria and Birmingham. The Niyo Group has reached a turnover of more than £1m and has worked with large corporations such as Goldman Sachs and KPMG.

 

Niyo Hair and Beauty, an innovative tech-driven ecosystem, caters to over 1000 clients globally while uplifting hairstylists through an accredited academy. Niyo Bootcamp, on the other hand, is dedicated to equipping black women with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions through technology-focused boot camps. Having successfully trained 560 black women in various fields, such as full stack development, data engineering, and VR/AR engineering, through the “Black Codher” and “Black Disruptor” boot camps, Oyinkansola plans to empower an additional 500 women this year. Notably, several of her mentees have secured positions at prestigious firms like KPMG, signalling the impact of Niyo Bootcamps. Lastly, Niyo Dapp introduces a blockchain platform that rewards beauty sector content creators with NFTs while providing users with physical products showcased by their favourite influencers.

 

Recognised for her remarkable contributions, Oyinkansola has amassed a collection of accolades, including the Great British Fashion & Beauty Entrepreneur of the Year, MBCC Entrepreneur of the Year, and Female Innovator of the Year. She has been a prominent speaker at notable events such as the Women in Tech Festival, Vodafone UK, KPMG, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Africa Tech Week, Birmingham Tech Week, and many more.

 

Academically, Oyinkansola holds a BA in Economics and Management from Nottingham Business School, along with an MSc in Development Economics. Her commitment to economic empowerment, particularly among black women, drives her use of disruptive and high-value tools to transform lives globally. By equipping black women with the essential skills and resources, Niyo has opened doors to employment opportunities that were once unimaginable, paving the way for a brighter future.

 

Tell us about your childhood/ teenage years and any experiences shaping your entrepreneurial journey.

When I was seven years old, I would sit next to my dad whilst he wrote contracts and proposals for Africa’s telecommunication giants. I found those times exhilarating, and as a young girl, I wanted to be like my dad but change the world too. Fast forward many years, I moved to the UK at the age of 13, still meaning to change the world. I participated in many social action projects while braiding my and my sister’s hair. I grew my clientele from myself and my sister to 1000 by age 18. As usual, conversations happen, and I became more than a braider and more of a career coach. These experiences have shaped what Niyo is today.

 

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced running your own business?

It’s balancing the challenge of cash flow, management of staff and maintaining the customer pipeline.

 

What have been the highlights of your entrepreneurial journey so far?

I have been featured on Apple News, The BBC, and The Daily Express, also enabling 600 black women to get into tech, with 80% of them in roles.

 

If you could start all over again, what would you do differently?

I would hire slower and also start with building an ed-tech platform first.

 

The Importance of Mentoring

I have many, including Daniella Genas and Sidi Saccoh. They have both helped in operational strategy, business development and mindset.

 

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to scale their business beyond six figures, what would it be?

Pay attention to your financial models and look at ways you can compound yourself to create a network effect for your business.

 

Advice to Start-Ups

Be critical about your ideas and less emotional about them. Focus on building what works by studying the behaviour and responses of potential customers.

 

My Favourite Holiday Destination

Dubai

 

Black-Owned Business I Love

Oriki

 

Favourite Thing to Do for Self-Care

Going to the gym and travelling

 

What are you currently reading/listening to or watching?

I am re-reading Hooked by Nir Eyal and The Automatic Customer by John Warrillow.

 

Visit their Website  www.niyo.co

 

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