Woman Turned White Lie Into Online Business With Massive Success

Mutale NkondeEverything changed when Kathryn Finney invited Nkonde to a high-profile series of tech conference at the Etsy Offices in Brooklyn. At one point, the tech guru asked everyone in the room to introduce themselves and describe their projects.

Nkonde froze.

“The person before me was like, ‘I have an online marketplace for African fashion. I started with five-hundred dollars and I’ve generated $150,000’. And then everyone clapped. And then it was my turn and I didn’t want to say that I’m basically making it up as I go along.”

So instead, she said this.

“I have a company called 2 Weeks Notice. And what 2 Week’s Notice does is help Black female founders from Africa and the diaspora navigate the start up process, because the reason our companies fail is because we don’t have contacts. Contacts in this arena means money. It means funding.”

It was all a lie, albeit a brilliant one. There was no company, but during her half-year of championing inclusion in tech she’d inadvertently stumbled upon her mission, providing a road map for high potential Black women to gain access to the start-up space.

Nkonde says she was “bum-rushed” after the event by investors and tech leaders wanting to hear more about her fictitious company. She made up an excuse, left abruptly, and arrived home in a panic. She figured that lie had cost her reputation, but rather than risk everything, Nkonde stayed up for the next twenty hours, creating a company.

Today, Two Weeks Notice is a digital destination for women of the Diaspora seeking a free entrepreneurial education. Upon it’s full launch, scheduled for October 2015, visitors will find videos from the leading voices in tech and business.

“Build a community around your idea,” she tells would-be entrepreneurs. That was the secret to her rapid success.

“A good idea solves a problem and people will throw money at problems rather than work through them.”

Nkonde believes tech could be the great wealth equalizer if more minority founders had access to business education and venture capital. She’s against the idea of self-employed women of color boot-strapping their way to retirement. She wants them to think bigger. Much bigger.

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