BYP Network - A platform for black young professionals to connect

BYP Network, a new social app for black young professionals to connect for professional and social reasons. It is now available to download on iOS, Android and available on web.

Aimed at ambitious individuals with a genuine desire to connect with other like-minded professionals, BYP Network bridges this gap to form new lasting connections.

New users can sign up using their Facebook or they can create a new account. When creating a new account they can upload a photo and select their gender and who they’d like to connect with. They can choose to connect for networking, socialising, dating or everything. Once they enter in the postcode and date of birth they are signed in and can see the homepage of profiles.

Next step is to fill out the questions which include: about me, a sentence for just the matches, who they’d like to meet, expectations of meeting up and a column to add their linkedIn profile. A really cool feature is our hashtag function. Users can input their hobbies so that other users can search by hashtags to find their match. It also means there can be hashtags for events so that all those attending can see others that are attending/have attended. Users can have up to 8 pictures on their profile.

On the home page, users can change settings to set age and location ranges. They can also look for hashtags and change what connections they are looking for. As you scroll you can see other users profile photo, occupation and age. Clicking on pictures allows users to see profile information. A match is done when two users like each others profiles. Premium membership allows users to see who has liked them and who has viewed their profile.

Kike Oniwinde, CEO & Founder of BYP Network says: “BYP Network focuses on helping users connect for new business opportunities, friendship reasons and even dating purposes. We allow users to be as informative as possible as there is no over reliance on just a profile picture; the app is all about building your network for the right reasons.”

News outlets tend to paint a negative profile of black young people including those that are striving to success, as their futures are still considered bleak. The study, by the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex, finds that British ethnic minority graduates are between 5% and 15% less likely to be employed than their white British peers six months after graduation. Furthermore, black women are painted as too successful to find a partner as successful black men are seen as ‘rare’ for many reasons.

BYP Network is determined to rewrite the narrative in the media by connecting black future leaders in the UK and the world, so that they can create businesses, help each other find jobs and create new friendships and relationships.

Kike Oniwinde is the Founder and CEO of BYP Network. She has a BSc (Hons) Economics degree from the University of Nottingham and a MSc Management degree from the University of Florida. Kike is also a Great Britain javelin thrower who received a full track and field scholarship to study in Florida.

Oniwinde states: “This app is here to help solve the problematic picture created about black young people. They are very ambitious and by connecting with other like-minded people, they can strive towards success together.”

Guests networking at the BYP app launch event

Kike currently works as a Business Development Executive for a financial technology (fin-tech) company called iwoca. They have raised over £50 million in funding and have been voted best alternative lender for two years in a row. During this last year Kike has been part of the client on-boarding team where she helped customers complete their applications whilst solving challenging problems they faced. She lead a project of implementing and developing iwoca’s intercom integration to create an efficient and faster flow of communication between iwoca and customers. Having strong communication skills and natural flare for sales Kike moved over to the business development team where she brings in new business for iwoca. This includes inbound leads, outbound calls and sourcing her own external leads. She is currently managing a team of ten remote sales agents that were trained and recruited by her and other members within the team.

Founder and CEO Kike Oniwinde

From a young age of 17 Kike’s first job was as a sales advisor at John Lewis menswear department. She was able to work their part time, train four times a week and complete her A levels all to the highest standards. Time management skills are at the forefront of Kike’s developed skillset. She passed all her exams with distinction and represented her country internationally in her chosen event of the women’s javelin. Her past work experience includes working in the front office at major investment banks including Goldman Sachs and Citi. She first interned at Deutsche Bank in the summer before university as she has always had an interest in finance. Her passion for entrepreneurship also developed whilst participating in a competition at the Institute of Director’s entrepreneurship week challenge. This lead to a fashion clothing line with her close friend, that still continues to run today (Although Kike is no longer a director).

Kike overcame obstacles at university in both her sports and academics to graduate with a 2:1 in BSc (Hons) Economics and be awarded a full athletics scholarship to the University of Florida. This experience was life-changing for her and something she thoroughly enjoyed. Making international friends was a challenge but she formed some of the best relationships she’s ever had. This lead to her first question of “How can like-minded black people connect more easily?” Returning to the UK and seeing so many of her friends were single because of a shortage of black men that they could connect with lead to Kike’s business idea of ‘BYP Network Ltd.’ She wanted a platform where black young professionals could connect for networking purposes, new friendships and relationships easily.

BYP Network Ltd was also intended to be an online platform but Kike started off with sell – out events that reinforced the need for an app. She will be bringing her growth mind-set, tenacity and strategic skills to BYP Network to ensure it prospers into the global business it can be. Once she sets her mind on something, she is prepared to put in the work to make it a success.

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