Everyday Pioneers... Tobi Oredein
Talk to us about Black Ballad – what drove you launch the platform?
I founded Black Ballad out of "passionate frustration." I was a freelance journalist who had worked for both entertainment and women's lifestyle publications and I was extremely frustrated with the lack of representation for black women. I felt strongly that women's magazines needed to do a better job in making sure all women of different races could be heard, so I decided to create a platform that did what others weren't - elevate the experiences of black women.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced so far?
Funding! Funding has been a huge challenge. Black founders only received 0.24% of investment funding and that black female entrepreneurs only received 0.02% of funding - the entrepreneurs who receive the least funding - so getting investment has been a huge challenge.
How is Black Ballad addressing the stories that other media platforms miss out on or ignore?
We are simply creating the space to let Black women tell their stories on their own terms, all year round, not just when race is a trending topic. We also make sure we let Black women tell joyful stories, not just our hardships and we pride ourselves in making sure we have a diverse range of black women voices writing for us. An example of that is the fact that we purposely ensure we have black female writers from outside London commissioned.