Co-founder of BLING
Deqa is an immigrant from Somalia who moved to Sweden over 2 decades ago. As the co-founder of BLING, a non-profit that supports underrepresented entrepreneurs, BLING is now distinguished as a non-profit organization and as a venture capital fund. Investing back into its community by funding underrepresented founders.
BLING: Who Are They?
BLING is a Swedish organization of friends and a community full of networks that are needed to realize the dreams of entrepreneurship. BLING optimizes their support and terms based on the entrepreneurs’ needs and conditions.
Staring back in 2014 with the belief that entrepreneurship is a force of change needed for self-realization and empowerment. With today’s fast paced industries, it has become harder for many starting out to find the right contacts, networks, and resources to start and successfully run a business. BLING is a bridge within society linking structural barriers, opening doors to new opportunities for entrepreneurs, investors, and the society at large.
BLING gives a platform to address everyone who has an idea, but lacks the access to the proper networks, and resources needed. Supporting all industries from tech companies to non-profit activities and social entrepreneurs. With a vision to create an inclusive, innovative, and competitive business landscape that reflects the diversity found in society.
What’s their mission?
Their mission is simple: Serve the underserved. To be able to do so, there must be an equal access opportunity present for all entrepreneurs. BLING taps into their overlooked potential and creates a catalyst for social and economic change.
BLING Capital is an extension of BLING’S mission, established in 2022. A founder investment team based in Sweden and backed by top entrepreneurs and investors on a global scale. BLING Capital is guided by its main purpose: to invest early and be long-term, stakeholders in businesses founded by world-class diverse founder teams that create value for people and society. BLING reiterates the value it has for sustainable and forward-learning business models addressing large, global markets and solving real problems.
How does BLING work?
BLING has ongoing operations all year round, accepting new participants for business advice and mentorship. Furthermore, BLING has formed special initiatives to strengthen parts of our offering, better reach the target group, and have a greater impact.
Empowerment: BLING highlights the role models that inspire. Conducting events, training sessions, and lectures that provide tools and knowledge to use in your career and entrepreneurship.
Incubation: BLING coaches and serves as mentors to entrepreneurs. Free of charge with the goal of longevity. Providing its participants with tools and networks to develop their ideas. Their members are welcome to physical workspaces, and meeting places in Kista, Sweden. Through the competition ‘För-orten’, participants also could win capital for their business.
Acceleration: BLING offers programs, capital, and tools for entrepreneurs to grow their companies and such through the initiatives Shift and BLING Capital.
Social Recycling: BLING works with all its members on a personal level, by offering mentorships early on with business coaching. As members advance, they become role models, mentors, and advisors themselves for new members.
Womenisa empowers and supports female entrepreneurs by showcasing role models, organizing networking events, providing mentorship, and offering scholarships.
För-orten competition recognizes entrepreneurs for their innovative ideas and motivation. It aims to inspire more individuals to embark on entrepreneurial ventures by providing a platform equipped with essential tools and networks for rapid achievement. This competition is specifically targeted towards the suburbs and marginalized areas of Sweden. Participants undergo business training and coaching. The top-performing teams not only secure a spot in BLING’s incubator, where they receive ongoing support but also win a prize of 100,000 SEK to kickstart their entrepreneurial journey.
Shift is a partnership between BLING and the online magazine Breakit. Shift aims to democratize capital by shifting the flow of investments from closed homogeneous groups and traditional networks to entrepreneurs who are normally not reached by venture capital, primarily to women and visible minorities. The goal is a more inclusive business sector.
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