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Business management

Proud to Be: Bayile Adeoti, founder of Dechomai

Bayile Adeoti, founder and Managing Director of Dechomai, tells us why she’s proud to help empower women from diverse backgrounds to advance their businesses or ideas and become financially independent.

Tell us about your organisation and what it does.

Dechomai – which is a Greek word meaning ‘to receive people with open arms, hearts and minds’ – is a social enterprise supported by the Royal Bank that delivers free leadership and enterprise workshops for women from ethnic minority communities. 

“The Aurora course is for anyone looking to build their entrepreneurial mindset and gain a better understanding of business and how to develop their idea into a venture. Arise is for new businesses looking to learn how to build their financial portfolio and grow their business strategy. We also design events, from planning to execution.”

What motivated you to start?

“I set up Dechomai in 2019 after I identified the need for more female role models and entrepreneurs with Black and minority ethnic (BME) origins. I’ve always worked in the hospitality or beauty industry and, when I looked around, I didn’t see many people of colour working in management roles. People often came to me asking how to get in the door, or to make the introductions. 

“Through peer-to-peer support, Dechomai helps bridge that gap. During lockdown we guided 45 women to set up their own businesses and we estimate 70 women will have launched their own enterprises this summer, including counsellors, pop-up food trucks and catering services, and a female joinery service.”

Young people can see the potential and opportunity to work in any industry because there are people already there – people who paved the way for them

Bayile Adeoti, founder, Dechomai
What have been the key opportunities and challenges so far?

“We would love to roll this out in schools – especially in Scotland – because the heart of it is to create role models and representation. In the long term, we’d like to roll out nationally. There’s so much scope if we collaborate across industries. 

“We feature entrepreneurs from all walks of life to show that there is somebody your skin colour working in that sector. Young people can see the potential and opportunity to work in any industry because there are people already there – people who paved the way for them. 

  • Watch Bayile’s business story on LinkedIn

     

“The pandemic did affect the events business, but as a social enterprise we were able to continue investing back into the community. We provided food hampers and packages for women from BME backgrounds on low income who were working in the hospitality industry. We accessed some funding to help food banks. Later, we created workshops on well-being, mindset and self-awareness. Covid taught me to be more in touch with what people are going through.”

Finally, the theme for this year’s Black History Month is Proud to Be. Why are you proud to be a Black business owner?

“I’m proud to be a Black business owner to create a way for other entrepreneurs coming behind me. Championing enterprise opportunities and growth in ethnic minority communities is something I’m passionate about. It’s an opportunity for us to reflect on how far we’ve come but also acknowledge the part I still have to play to move things forward.”

Dechomai offers free enterprise courses, supported by the Royal Bank of Scotland, to Black and minority ethnic women in the UK. Find out more here

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