Q&A: Helping Africans In The Diaspora Start Successful Businesses

Q&A: Helping Africans In The Diaspora Start Successful Businesses

Named one of the African women leading in business by “Black Enterprise” magazine, New York-based, Nigerian-born Anie Akpe is trying to help other Africans in America succeed in business as well.

She is the founder IBOM LLC, an organization aimed at keeping the African diaspora business community informed through seminars and cultural events. Her company has a focus of educating Africans by providing consulting services for small- and medium-sized businesses.

In addition to running IBOM, Akpe is vice-president of mortgages at a credit union, where she manages a $600-million mortgage portfolio.

AFK Insider: Why did you start IBOM LLC?

Anie Akpe: I work in the financial sector and most of the time when I attended an event, at least two or  three people would ask me questions regarding their small business. From there, I felt the need to start IBOM LLC.

AFK Insider: How does IBOM LLC work?

Anie Akpe: IBOM LLC is a business consulting company. We address small business concerns such as increasing revenue and profits; developing low budget-effective marketing strategies; crafting cohesive action plans for growing businesses; boosting clarity and focus; and prioritizing tasks for small business owners.

Also with IBOM LLC we host seminars, cultural, and tech events which highlight successful small business owners.

AFK Insider: How do you juggle both a full-time job and running your own company?

Discover How Affordable Peace of Mind Can Be:
Get Your Life Insurance Quote Today!

Anie Akpe: Being a meticulously organized person helps me to juggle working full time and running IBOM LLC. I always plan things out six months in advance, leaving room for anything that may come up at the last minute. I also know my limits; if it’s beyond my capacity, I will not take it on.

AFK Insider: Why was it important for you to reach out to Africans in the Diaspora?

Anie Akpe: I was born in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, but I grew up in Calabar, Cross River State. I moved to the U.S. at a young age, and while I visit home my life is now in New York. Thus, I am a part of the African diaspora.

I am essentially reaching out to my community. Most of the small business owners that I’ve come across always focus on going global with their business. It’s our way of connecting with our loved ones who are still in Africa. I believe the thought for people like me in the diaspora, is that our success is their success. With that understanding, I felt that need to start a business that reached out to Africans in the diaspora to help them achieve their business goals.

AFK Insider: What do you think is the main business concern for African entrepreneurs in the Diaspora?

Anie Akpe: Funding, which includes capital and resources, is the global concern for future businesses owners.

AFK Insider: What are some of your goals for IBOM for 2014?

Anie Akpe: This year’s focus for IBOM LLC is hosting technology events. As I mentioned earlier, funding is still a major concern, so we will also be focused on increasing avenues of access to capital.

AFK Insider: Any new projects you are doing with IBOM?

Anie Akpe: 2014 will be a big year for IBOM LLC. We started an online magazine called Innov8tiv. The purpose of innov8tiv.com is to highlight the diaspora’s innovations and accomplishments in technology. The site is up but it’s currently in beta mode. We go live on Jan. 15, 2014.

AFK Insider: What are your long-term goals with IBOM?

Anie Akpe: I would like it to expand and grow, bringing on others that have a similar passion for assisting small business owners.

AFK Insider: How do you reach out to Africans to participate?

Anie Akpe: We try to generate publicity in every nook and cranny possible, using social media as our main marketing tool. We also involve Africans in all of our events and projects. We reach out to our community to get the experts that can best guide future business leaders in the right direction.