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Initially, M’balu Oke had no desire to be an entrepreneur. Her parents owned and operated three small businesses, all of which failed during the Great Recession of 2008. That experience left M’balu Oke hesitant to lunch her own venture. However, her entrepreneurial instincts could not be quieted. She laments that “pain oftentimes births passion,” and in 2017, her son was born three months early. That was the most challenging time in M’balu Oke’s life up until that point. She could not juggle her full-time job as a Program Manager while visiting the NICU full-time, so she decided to leave her position.
However, her ambitions led her to pursue communications and consulting work. In her first month, M’balu Oke already had two contracts. PivotPath was born and has been thriving ever since. PivotPath is a brand marketing and communications agency serving municipalities, non-profit organizations, community-based programs, and mission-driven private companies. The company was founded in 2018 and now has two offices.
Regarding the pain points new business owners experience, M’balu Oke says, “Challenges happen when you’re working for a company as well as working for your own company. It’s just coming back to center and being able to realize there’s a purpose, and there’s a mission, and there’s a goal—and just aiming straight.”
In the next five years, M’balu Oke hopes to have a third office, perhaps somewhere in Western Africa, to expand PivotPath’s international scope. M’balu Oke believes there are so many rich, cultural stories in that part of the world that are not being told as well as they could be.
“I think one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is understanding my purpose,” says M’balu Oke. “And understanding our purpose as human beings on this Earth. We’re here to raise consciousness. We’re here to inspire people. We’re here to connect them with the products, services, the people, the ideas, the stories, to make their lives feel better.”
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