Storyteller and Digital Marketing Entrepreneur Adebukola Ajao Equips Small Businesses to Thrive, Advocates for Women with Chronic Illness

By Lindsey Rose

Adebukola Ajao is the recipient of a Publish Her micro grant, a program dedicated to providing resources to female-identifying founders. Since 2018, more than $250,000 in grants and services have been donated to women business owners.

Adebukola Ajao endured a traumatic childhood. Before age 18, she’d experienced homelessness, had cared for a younger sibling, and was expelled from multiple schools. The trajectory of her life changed exponentially after she was admitted to Crimson Summer Academy, a highly selective program for low-income high school students in the Boston, Massachusetts public school system. During the program, she left home for the first time to attend Harvard University, where she started seeing real possibilities for herself. Living on campus every summer during high school, surrounded by academics, helped her mature and gave her the stability and control that she hadn’t had growing up. She built a support system of people there who remain her chosen family today.

Adebukola received a bachelor’s degree in political science and Africana studies at Emmanuel College and became active in student and racial advocacy. She launched a social justice coalition called We Are the Ones, which won a NAACP Next Generation Leadership Award.

In 2016, she founded a marketing agency, B.D.Y. Consult, on a simple belief: if you’re in business, marketing is your business. Armed with creativity and budget-friendly strategies, she guides solopreneurs and small businesses to rise above the digital noise to build thriving brands.

While earning a master’s in digital media management at Northeastern University, Adebukola piloted a free resource platform called For All Things Digital. She understood that the root of much socioeconomic inequality for business owners is a lack of access to information, and she wanted to help fill that gap. Driven by the African American proverb “each one, teach one,” her goal was to help educate others and spread knowledge for the betterment of her community.

As a freelance journalist for outlets including the Huffington Post, Adebukola has covered stories of racial transgressions against Black Americans across the U.S. Many of her stories have gone viral, which deepened her fascination with the power of digital media. Combining her strength as a storyteller and desire to help historically disadvantaged entrepreneurs, she continued to build and grow For All Things Digital. It remains the philanthropic arm of her marketing agency. The platform provides a curated collection of content for small business owners—information about grants, marketing, writing and more—without a paywall. She also highlights For All Things Digital community members through powerful marketing campaigns. Recently, two members were each awarded $300,000 in grants, which is a testimony to Adebuko’s direct impact on small businesses.

Adebukola’s work also extends into the classroom. She is an adjunct professor at Northeastern University, shaping the next generation of marketing minds who will build our digital future. Teaching in the program where she was once a student was unprecedented until she stepped into the role.

Behind the scenes of her success, Adebukola suffers from chronic pain. After leaving an emotionally abusive relationship while recovering from two major surgeries, she wasn’t able to speak for weeks. During that time, she discovered Chronic Boss Collective (CBC), a powerful network of businesswomen changing the narrative around being an ambitious career woman with a chronic condition. Today, Adebukola is a founding member of CBC. She is passionate about educating people about chronic illness so that others like her will be seen.

To learn more about Adebukola’s businesses, visit BDYConsult.com and ForAllThingsDigital.com, and follow @bdyconsult and @forallthingsdigital on Instagram.

Photo credit: Adebukola Ajao

About the Author

Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Lindsey Rose is a mom, writer and longtime public relations professional. After recovering from colon cancer in 2012, she launched a communications consultancy that supports purpose-driven brands. She is a passionate autism awareness advocate, dog lover, yogi and cookie baking aficionado. Follow her on Instagram: @lindseyrosepr.

About Publish Her

Publish Her is a female-founded independent publisher dedicated to elevating the words, writing and stories of women. We are passionate about amplifying the voices of women of color, women with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ+ community. We aim to make publishing an attainable, exciting and collaborative process for all.