Adebukola Ajao is an online digital marketing guru equipped to help small businesses with the tools needed to compete.
Born and raised in Boston, Ajao grew up across the street from Northeastern’s campus. As an undergraduate, she worked with the university’s John D. O’Bryant African American Institute to create a coalition of social justice activists.
During this period she also began BDY consultation, an online marketing company. But she quickly realized that she needed to continue her education if she wanted to grow her business. So she applied to Northeastern’s digital marketing graduate program. She was accepted and received a scholarship.
This program allowed Ajao to combine her passion for marketing and helping underserved Black-owned businesses.
“During my time as a business owner and student, I also wanted to leverage my knowledge of digital marketing to impact Black lives,” says Ajao.
Ajao currently balances three jobs. By day, she works at Brookline High School as a project manager, helping students explore their entrepreneurial opportunities and obtain college scholarships.
In the evenings, she works as an assistant professor at Northeastern, teaching in the same program she earned her degree in.
In between, Ajao works on his business. It has a team of six people spread across the country. BDY Consult strives to help small business owners see themselves as marketers.
“My slogan is: ‘If you’re in business, marketing is your business,’” says Ajao. “It is essential that every small business owner has a practical, practical knowledge of marketing at all times. »
The Internet offers unlimited possibilities for growing a business, says Ajao. Even physical businesses are digital. What a company does online overshadows what it does in person, she says. Having an online presence allows people from all over the world to reach a business.
BDY Consult, unlike large online companies, helps clients develop a business concept from scratch, from brainstorming a name to business registration and legal formalities.
Once the basics are in place, BDY Consult helps build a marketing campaign, social media and personal relationships.
In seven years, Ajao has had around 150 clients. His projects range from one-off to regular work for long-term clients. The Women Who Empower grant will help Ajao grow her business and take her marketing campaigns to the next level.
Working with small business owners can be stressful, but very rewarding, Ajao says. Small businesses often cannot afford a marketing team. That’s why she launched a platform offering free advice to help them find grants to support their efforts.
“I fundamentally believe that to create an equitable and accessible world, small business owners, especially those from disadvantaged communities, need the tools, capital, financing and support to be able to compete,” says Ajao. “It’s not a level playing field if people don’t benefit from that.” »