LOWELL — Whereas hundreds of protesters in Massachusetts have taken to the streets to sentence inequality and struggle racial injustice over the previous six months, native entrepreneur Stephen Wahome is taking a extra progressive method: educating younger college students of shade the right way to construct their very own companies.
Come January, Wahome will accomplice with the Boys & Women Membership of Higher Lowell to launch a digital Startup Bootcamp for teenagers of shade between the ages of 12 and 18, which over the course of 4 weeks will educate them the whole lot from primary terminology to creating marketing strategy walkthroughs and elevator pitches.
“Extra black-owned companies are a should, and this begins with educating younger folks of shade in communities like Lowell the basics of beginning a enterprise,” mentioned Wahome, a Kenyan immigrant who grew up in Lowell. “It is not going to solely convey cash into their fingers, however it’s going to flow into of their households and their communities.”
Wahome mentioned he got here up with the thought for Startup Bootcamp through the summer time, following the police killing of George Floyd and the next Black Lives Matter protests throughout the nation and the globe. After witnessing so many individuals take a stand for racial equality, he mentioned he felt compelled to contribute in no matter approach he might, which he decided was by means of his information of enterprise.
“I simply really feel like folks can provide again in so many alternative methods, and for me to offer again one thing that I really like and luxuriate in doing each single day, it’s simply phenomenal,” he mentioned.
Mahome, who lives in Newton, received his begin in entrepreneurship whereas he was nonetheless learning on the College of Massachusetts Lowell for his MBA, when he partnered with Lowell native Nicholas Bedard to create JamFuze, an internet music market that related native unsigned music artists with producers.
A number of years later, he teamed up with Lowell natives Anthony Gentles and brothers Ayoub and Ibraheem Khadar to create KWG Softworks, a Boston-based distant firm that creates software program functions for corporations within the U.S. by using African expertise. The corporate formally launched in February.
Wahome mentioned that as phrase received round about his two enterprise ventures final 12 months, lots of people all in favour of creating their very own startups started reaching out to him for recommendation.
As increasingly folks continued to succeed in out, Wahome mentioned he began to obtain numerous the identical questions, so he created a sequence of 26 quick movies answering all of them with the intention to save himself some problem.
Quick ahead to the beginning of 2020, and Wahome mentioned the movies grew a lot in reputation that they led to folks asking him if he taught programs, together with dad and mom asking for his or her youngsters.
After the Black Lives Matter protests erupted months later, he offered the thought to officers on the Boys & Women Membership of Higher Lowell, a spot Wahome mentioned he went to so usually as a child that it helped mould him into the particular person he’s at present.
“I feel it’s wonderful, and one of many issues that I recognize is that he as a membership alum is keen to offer again to our children, as a result of he is aware of how a lot the membership influenced him,” mentioned Alisha Harrison, program director on the Boys & Women Membership.
Wahome mentioned he’s presently testing this system with youngsters exterior of the membership in preparation for the January launch.
It follows a four-week schedule consisting of 26 pre-recorded studying modules. College students can self-enroll at any time and Wahome will host two weekly workplace hours, the place college students can ask him questions and pitch their concepts.
Harrison mentioned she’s hoping to make Wahome’s program a part of the membership’s Pathways Program, which helps put together membership members for his or her lives after highschool.
“This could possibly be one other stepping stone that our membership members can use to finish generational poverty and actually have a pathway for themselves after highschool that’s sustainable,” Harrison mentioned.
To register for this system, go to https://startupbootcamp.thinkific.com/courses/SB.