How Nigeria’s Sulaiman Sanni Became Financial Success Through His Startup Before Turning 40

Access to cash continues to be the biggest obstacle for many black people who want to become entrepreneurs and launch their own firms, according to a McKinsey Global Institute analysis.

In spite of the fact that black Americans are more likely than any other ethnic group to establish firms, they face more difficult obstacles right from the outset, according to the survey, which claims that black founders earned only one percent of venture investment capital. When compared to their white colleagues, who receive an average launch capital of $107,000, black people typically receive roughly $35,000.

This suggests that black business owners frequently start out in challenging circumstances. Sulaiman Sanni did not let this deter him from pursuing his entrepreneurial goals in order to become financially independent, which he did before reaching 40. He was able to raise the money for his first firm and sell it for six figures, overcoming the financial obstacles that many black entrepreneurs experience when trying to raise cash.

Sanni founded WeDidIt, an online platform for fundraising, and helped more than 2000 charity groups collect more than $50 million. Before the Allegiance Fundraising Group bought the business in June 2019, he ran it for eight years.

He now serves as the CEO and creator of Dollaride, a firm that provides drivers with the tools to increase ridership, passengers with access to economical transportation, and less expensive corporate commute options.

Users can utilize the platform, which functions like a ride-hailing app, to find nearby, legally running dollar vans and obtain a trip.

Up to 20 individuals can ride in dollar vans for a few dollars each. They load passengers while traveling along defined routes instead of providing door-to-door services like Uber, which is reminiscent of the unofficial transportation system utilized by Black people who couldn’t afford to take the bus.

“They’ve been around for well over 30 years, and primarily work in the outer boroughs like Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx,” Sanni said of dollar vans to builtinnyc. “Most of the drivers and riders are folks from the Caribbean, Chinese immigrants, folks who are from the Latino community,” Sanni added.

Sanni, who is from from Nigeria, was raised with a $1 van. His uncles were dollar van drivers who initially immigrated to the United States in the 1980s. His encounter with dollar vans served as the impetus for Dollaride.

“I personally grew up in low-income housing in New York City,” he said. “I grew up in a transit desert, which is part of a city where you have remarkably limited access to public transportation.”

“As a result, I ended up relying on dollar vans when traveling to school or work. I had lived the problem. So I just wanted to provide that solution to more people who are also living in transit deserts around New York City, and now, potentially, around other cities around the country.”

Sanni recently got $10 million in funding to build New York’s first all-electric dollar van network. The project will commence in January 2023.

“I am proud to be providing the most significant investment yet in clean transportation for historically underserved communities in New York State,” NY Governor Kathy Hochul said, according to a press release.

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