DIFFvelopment (Written by Lynese Salmon.)
DIFFvelopment is a black-owned non-profit organization founded by Esi Kagale Agyeman Gillo and Peter Markeeo Gillo in 2015. DIFFvelopment arms aspiring Black visionaries from around the globe with the deep understanding of how to overcome the racial disparities impacting them today, a new empowering narrative to tell their history, a safe space to belong to, and first-rate entrepreneurial and financial direction from Black business professionals with diverse perspectives. They offer revolutionary programming that empowers through analytical economic Africana history training and action-oriented entrepreneurial and financial education.
How DIFFvelopment Was Created:
Esi and her husband Peter founded DIFFvelopment based on their own personal experiences and struggles entering the professional work field after college. Esi experienced her fair share of difficulty entering the work field because she was Black, despite being well-educated it was evidently clear there was a lack of Black people in the higher working field. Esi ended up working a temp position rather than the proper job she expected to be working leaving college. Peter thankfully had the opportunity to enter a Black life studies program at Rutgers University but once that ended he experienced the same struggles Esi did.
Esi and Peter wanted to see more Black people working in higher positions and ultimately be around people that looked like them. During this period of finding better employment, they began to think about what they were experiencing and why they were experiencing it. They did research, started realizing deployment, bias, hiring processes that don’t favor Black people globally, and weak governments that aren’t really providing jobs for the youth. They started seeing the trend of students going to school, getting good educations then coming home doing what they can to get by. In addition to noticing the lack of Black wealth, how it keeps perpetuating itself, how it keeps going, and understanding that there are systems set in place keeping Black people from reaching generational growth.
Esi and Peter began working for a Black-owned restaurant together, Esi at night while working corporate at her temp position, Peter full-time. The two of them were passionate about helping the Black-owned restaurant, the restaurant even asked Esi to take over their nonprofit. Peter then suggested the idea of the two of them starting their own nonprofit which led to the development of their consultrepreneurship internship program. In 2015 they developed DIFFvelompment with the focus of developing Black people differently, it’s been a long journey but DIFFvelopment is successfully impacting the lives of young adults globally and providing them with the resources and knowledge they need to become skilled business professionals.
What They Offer:
DIFFvelopment offers virtual Africana-centered life-changing programs, where they inculcate aspiring Black visionaries with the practical skills, human resources, and mindset needed to become globally conscious visionary leaders who are equipped to build sustainable personal, generational and communal wealth through entrepreneurship, intentional financial planning, and philanthropy. Their programs include the Consultrepreneurship Internship, Black Generational Wealth program, and the Alternative Career Services Coaching program.
The Consultrepreneurship Internship program is an annual holistic 10-week summer program that leverages Africana economic history, mentorship, and unique practical learning experiences to empower Black college students and recent graduates to overcome socioeconomic barriers and build personal, generational, and communal wealth. Eligible candidates must be college students, 18 years of age or older. DIFFvelopment looks for driven students, willing to learn about their history, entrepreneurship, and passionate about their people within the Black community. The Consultrepreneurship is a journey and students can expect an intense learning experience. The idea is to ground students’ thinking in entrepreneurship in an African historical context, classes every week, understanding finance and business, obtain the education you can’t learn in school but what needs to be learned. The application for this year’s Consultrepreneurship Internship program closes on March 31st, 2021.
The Black Generational Wealth program is an action-oriented learning experience that challenges aspiring Black visionaries from all walks of life to examine their socioeconomic status in relation to the wealth-building process and explore entrepreneurship as a viable career option that facilitates economic advancement. It’s a three-part workshop making Black students aware of their economic household and takes them through activities that teach them how they can obtain generational wealth themselves. The 2nd round of the Montclair Black Generational Wealth program for Montclair resident Black college students will begin Saturday, February 27th, DIFFvelopment is currently accepting applications until Friday, February 26th at 12 PM.
The Alternative Career Services Coaching program is a one-on-one coaching program that provides aspiring Black visionaries and recent graduates from all around the world with financial, business, employment, higher education, professional and general life skills guidance. Development plans are customized to suit the needs of each beneficiary and therefore vary in terms of support approach and length of engagement. Beneficiaries can choose to have a private or Instagram Live coaching session.
What’s To Come For DIFFvelopment:
DIFFvelopment will soon be releasing their book, “Understanding How to Build Black Generational Wealth: A Historically and Culturally Centered Self-Help Book.” It’s a one-of-kind handbook for anyone looking to learn more about the Black-White wealth gap from a global perspective and speaks directly to the aspiring Black visionary who’s seeking the motivation necessary to build personal, generational, and communal wealth through entrepreneurship. It is informative, motivational, and straightforward. The paperback will be available for purchase through Amazon by the first week of March. A direct link to the Amazon purchase page will be included in the footer of the DIFFvelopment website.
The DIFFvelopement online resource center, EPA Center is currently in the process of development. The EPA Center will be the virtual hub for aspiring Black visionaries who want to learn how to build sustainable wealth that is historically informed and globally conscious. The EPA Center will be available to the public by the Spring of this year. They are currently raising funds to further its development. Anyone interested in getting involved can join their Giving Circle. Overview | Info Session
How To Support:
To support DIFFvelopment, interested parties should donate at www.diffvelopment.org/donate or join its first Giving Circle. Applications will be accepted through March 10th. Visit here for more information and apply at www.diffvelopment.org/circle.
Connect with DIFFvelopment: