Kike Oniwinde: Award Winning Athlete Turned Founder One Of The World’s Largest Social Platforms – BYP Network

by Babatunde Oluwasegun
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For decades, people of color have been belittled, degraded and trampled upon. Thankfully, however the narrative is being changed with many undeterred voices getting off the sidelines, actively joining the fight against racism and intolerant attitudes.

Inspired by the 2016 #BlackLivesMatter protests, Nigerian born former Great British Javelin Thrower, Kike Oniwinde, 27, decided more needed be done in order to change the black narrative. Rolling mental sleeves, a brilliant idea struck, a networking platform connecting and empowering like minded young black professionals thereby paving way for more job opportunities in the UK needed be created, hence, the Black Young Professional Network (BYP network) was birthed.

Dubbed the LinkedIn for black professionals, the BYP Network, a London-based app which encompasses social networking and career development with a network of over 40,000 members across the globe aims to harness the power of the black community. Through this vision, black professionals around the world are empowered to connect with each other as well as global corporations to help foster diversity and inclusion.

@BYPNetwork which hosts a variety of features: an in-app job board, live events and much more has become a go-to powerhouse in the professional market, catching the eyes of big guns such as, Forbes, BBC, Business Insider and Roc Nation.

The firm successful recently raised over £850,000 ($1.1m) in an equity crowdfund through Seedrs.

Oniwinide, born October 1992 had her early childhood in East London. She graduated with a Upper Second class BSc Economics in 2014 from the University of Nottingham and then proceeded to study at University of Florida, supported by a track and field scholarship, gaining an MSc degree in Management.

Flashback – Career in athletics;

Skilled in javelin the then athlete gained instant recognition, she competed from 2005 onwards for Havering Athletics Club, moving to Enfield and Haringey Athletic Club in 2012. Oniwinide first represented Great Britain at the European Junior Championships in Tallin in 2011.

Her talent and brilliance fetched her three medals in the British University Championships while at University of Nottingham, although a back injury affected her performance. Eyes still set on the sport world; while in the University of Florida, she joined the university athletics team and reached the top twenty in performance with the javelin in the USA Collegiate competitions.

 She went further to qualify for the Commonwealth Games and continued competing until 2017.

Deservedly, Kike Oniwinide’s name has been inked in the entrepreneurial world following her immense contribution to the development of the black community, landing her several prestigious accolades:

She was awarded the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor award for her MSc Management degree and athletics by University of Florida.

In 2018 Oniwinde was included in the Financial Times and Inclusive Board’s first list of Top 100 UK BAME Leaders in Tech.

In 2019 she was included in a list of young leaders within technology in Europe (Forbes’ 30 under 30) and was one of the 2019 Maserati 100, a list produced by Maserati and the Sunday Times.

In December 2019, Oniwinde was awarded the Alumni Laureate Recent Graduate Award by University of Nottingham.

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