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Onyinye Udokporo

Updated: Feb 16, 2022

What were you doing when you were 12?

Maybe you were running around with friends, glued to the TV with a PlayStation controller in your hands, or just discovering the wonders on Facebook or Myspace depending on your generational status. When Onyinye was 12, she had already started her own business.

Far from just a lemonade stand outside her house, she was running her own small tutoring business. She recalls being more serious about it than most people would assume. As young as she was, she says that it was never an afterthought to her. Already a business owner at such a young age, her decisions were strategic. “I remember planning ahead, budgeting to make sure I had the tech and resources I needed.” It started off small - she tutored a few people in subjects like English and Math and used her weekends and summer holidays for the most part. However, when she got into University at King’s College London, she decided to expand the company in order to support her living expenses. Soon, she was tutoring between 40 and 50 students each Saturday in her parent’s living room. By her third year, Enrich Learning was an online learning hub, with its own community. She has continued it ever since and it’s growing by the minute. Onyinye has recognized the difference that tutoring made in her journey through education, and attributes a lot of her success to the boost that it gave her. With Enrich Learning, she hopes to provide top-quality teaching and additional support that is accessible and affordable for everyone, no matter their socioeconomic status.

Despite how fast Enrich Learning has grown, Onyinye notes that many people didn’t take it seriously until last year, when she was featured in publications like Forbes and the awards for her work started piling up. When asking about it, people referred to it in words like “her little project.” She attributes this condescending language used as a response to both her gender, and her race.

As she points out, there are very few other young, black women that are leaders in the space that she is in - EdTech. But as one of the leaders, she is determined to break the mold that has been created. One of the ways she does this is through the way that she dresses - she believes that seemingly small decisions like that will change the culture of her business and make it more accessible. She chooses to dress casually, usually in a Nike tracksuit, because she understands that creating a relaxed space allows for everyone to feel welcome, and to be themselves. Onyinye says that one of the biggest barriers for inclusivity in most corporate spaces, is the culture. If it is created by white, wealthy men, it is hard for everyone to move into that space and feel welcome - unless like her, you naturally have the “gift of the gab.” But even she acknowledges that this was gained through years of moving through these kinds of spaces, such as going to a private school. This is how she developed a ‘cultural knowledge,’ of how to talk and act in these situations and environments. Without this experience, these kinds of cultures can feel foreign and isolating.

By positioning herself as a leader in that space that looks and does things differently, she is breaking down that traditional culture, and fostering inclusion. Instead of walking into a corporate space with people in rigid suits, she is creating a more casual and comfortable space where the head of the company is wearing a tracksuit - a space where a certain cultural knowledge is not needed to thrive. It’s also important to her, because it gives the students that use Enrich Learning a role model that they can see themselves in, that they can aspire to.

She is showing that business does not, and should not, look one way.

Outside of racial and cultural inclusion, Onyinye is also a strong advocate for neurodiversity in business. As someone with dyslexia, this is something she is acutely aware of. “It is as simple as making sure all the emails sent in the company are in large and legible fonts.” she said, “Something that simple could make a difference.” It is also something that she has experienced firsthand before. Last year, she had a contract set up with one of the big four firms, but she ended up turning it down. There were a number of reasons for this - Enrich Learning was taking off for one, but she also found herself put off by the onboarding process of the company, and its ‘sloppy’ nature. She felt that the lack of accommodation for a neurodiverse individual such as herself in the introduction to the company didn’t bode well for accommodations when she worked there.

Onyinye had also noticed the lack of diversity at the senior levels of the company and had heard from others that the retention of black talent at the company wasn’t great beyond junior levels. As she puts it, “when not a single manager or partner looks like me, how can I trust them to look out for my interests?” Without the cultural knowledge, it is unlikely to be at the forefront of their concerns. With this in mind, Onyinye said that she felt safer running her own company. When she is at the top, she doesn’t have to worry about microaggressions or management that isn’t knowledgeable enough to look out for her. She creates the environment and the culture.

As she has been doing since she was 12, Onyinye will no doubt continue to grow exponentially in the future and carve a new path for herself and those that follow as she does it.



Want to keep up to date with Onyinye and her work with Enrich Learning? Click the links below!



LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/onyinyeudokporo


Personal website: onyinyeudokporo.com


Enrich Learning Website: enrichlearning.co.uk


Interviewee’s Socials to be linked (insta & blog)


Want to keep up to date with Onyinye and her work with Enrich Learning? Click the links below!



LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/onyinyeudokporo


Personal website: onyinyeudokporo.com


Enrich Learning Website: enrichlearning.co.uk





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