From Red Lobster to Banking Leader: One Woman Shares Her Story of Transitions and Success

Anie-Akpe Lewis, Innov8tiv mag founder, talks leveraging diverse experiences

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Innov8tiv.com is a site that highlights people of color in technology in the U.S., U.K., Caribbean and Africa. The two reasons that set me in this path was the lack of seeing black innovators widely publicized in the space and having a platform to be highlighted.

I started IBOM L.L.C. because when I’d attend an event, at least two or three people would ask me questions regarding their small businesses. I noticed a need. We address small business concerns such as increasing revenue and profits; developing cost-effective marketing strategies; crafting cohesive action plans for growing businesses; boosting clarity and focus; and prioritizing tasks for small business owners. Also with IBOM LLC we host seminars cultural, and tech events which highlight successful small business owners of the African diaspora.

What career advice would you have for other women to succeed in the financial services industry?

Put your emotions in check at the door and always come prepared. There are no days off in terms of what you need to learn and do. If you have an interest in a specific area of finance, make sure you learn everything there is to know about that area. Also, find a mentor. Learn their story, and see how it fits into what you want to accomplish.

What three things would you say women have, in terms of power that can catapult them into career success?

Team-building: Women quickly learn that if they don’t have a strong team (be it a support system or working environment) they will not succeed. It’s natural for us to pull a team together to accomplish our goals. This thinking allows us to find the best of the best in our endeavors.

Ambition: The driven personality is not just for external successes that the world can see. It’s watching your ideas become reality and knowing that you fulfilled a need or a personal goal. Unfortunately, this drive to succeed is sometimes based on being told [as a woman] you’re not good enough.

Creativity: I find that women will always find creative ways to achieve their dream. It doesn’t matter what road block gets in the way, if a women sets her mind on meeting that goal, just move out of her way because you will get run over.

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