Bakare Barley Ltd: Championing for Equality

Bakare Barley Ltd supports organisations to create clear and sustainable strategies to improve inclusion and diversity in the workplace. Ayo launched the business in 2021 after almost two decades working in equality, diversity and inclusion within charities, government funded initiatives, education, and industry.

We sat down with Ayo, the managing director of Bakare Barley Ltd to learn more about her experiences when starting her own business, and to find out more about the business itself.

 

We asked Ayo: “Where did the idea for your business come from?”

Ayo told us: “I noticed a sort of awakening in our society, people seemed to be becoming more aware of structural barriers facing people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds – and with that, the need for support for organisations to take trusted and sensitive approaches to improve the experiences and outcomes for their staff, service users and customers.”

Ayo says she’s always had a passion for equality, and over the years, alongside a successful career in business development within higher education, Ayo also led the charity New Leaders Network, which provided training and development to equip marginalised communities to move into leadership positions.

Then in 2021, Ayo was approached by members of her network to provide support with discussing the issues surrounding equality and inclusion in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the escalating Black Lives Matter movement. Ayo said: “I wanted to create a person-centred consultancy service to provide positive, evidence-based and sustainable help for businesses interested in supporting their workforce, and maximising employee satisfaction and performance.”

The business is based in the Baltic Triangle, an area flourishing with independent businesses in a prime location on the outskirts of the city centre. The business being based in Liverpool is also significant for other reasons.

The business’ location is also significant, as Liverpool was a major port in the 18th century, and its ships and merchants dominated the transatlantic slave trade. Liverpool is home to some of the oldest continuous Black and Chinese communities in Europe, and is, as Ayo calls it, “a melting pot of people and lifestyles” and was named capital of culture in 2008.

Ayo says: “Basing Bakare Barley Ltd in Liverpool has been a source of pride and inspiration.”

When asked what is unique about her business, Ayo told us that Bakare Barley Ltd is fully remote and flexible when offering personalised consultancy services solely based on individual company needs and budget. The practitioners have a wide range of knowledge spanning a range of sectors and protected characteristics/

Ayo says: “This means the advice we provide is based on tried and tested methods of improving inclusion, satisfaction and performance.”

Ayo says the best thing about running her own business is that it enables her to be creative and to dream big. “I have always wanted to do something to make a difference and feel that the business allows me endless opportunities to bring about real and sustainable change for organisation.”

Initially, Ayo struggled to manage being a mother and a business owner at the same time. The initial barrier to setting up the business was time. Working full time and looking after two children under the age of 3 was a struggle, but she found that we as humans make time for things we really want. So she found herself researching, developing her skills and networking whenever she could, even during nap-time!

Finally, we asked Ayo: “How do you feel about what you have achieved so far?”

Ayo said: “The business is fast approaching it’s first birthday and I am delighted with what has been achieved so far. We have been able to secure a number of amazing clients ranging from the voluntary sector to universities and we are starting to generate interest and enquiries through our newly launched website.

“We have developed an EDI community called The Inclusion Exchange, where people interested in furthering inclusion matters in the workplace can share, learn and expand their network.”

Ayo is planning to develop their learning and development offering over the next 12 months to include online and face-to-face programmes on inclusive leadership, inclusive resourcing and to provide business coaching for executives to improve confidence and capability in advancing equity within their organisations.

To find out more and/or enquire about Bakare Barley Ltd, you can contact them at info@bakarebarley.com or via www.bakarebarley.com

If this piece has interested you and you’re looking to start or grow your business, then get in touch with the Enterprise Hub via enterprisehub@thewo.org.uk or 0151 706 8113