You don’t have to be in Silicon Valley to build a tech empire thanks to innovators like this!

Hajj Flemings is the founder of Rebrand Cities, a global design partnership created with with a goal to get 10,000 small businesses online.

“I think historically if you look at the DNA of Black and Latinx people, we have always had a creative DNA in us,” said Flemings on the latest episode of Black Tech Green Money with host Will Lucas.

“We’re typically in a situation where there are high barriers of entry, there are access issues, but still we always figure out a way to do more with less,” he continued.

For Flemings, it’s super important that Black founders and creatives understand that they don’t have to flee to Silicon Valley just to make their entrepreneurship dreams come true.

He shares insight on what founders can do if they do decide to stay in a place where it seems things like building an app can’t be done.

“In all of these cities, there are anchors,” Flemings continued. “For many of us, we’re really not at the table. So, when these decisions are made or if a company like Chase brings in $100 million into your community, you’re not a part of the conversation. And by the time they get to you, there’s only a $5,000 grant.”

Flemings shares that while he isn’t knocking the amount of the grant, it’s important for Black founders to be further up in the food chain to get access to where the real money is going.

“I’m not knocking the $5,000 grant, but how do we get up higher in the food chain so that when the real dollars are allocated, they go to the real organizations that are close to the problem, understand, and are empathetic toward that specific community?”

To learn how to connect with the right people, work toward building those tech ecosystems in places other than Silicon Valley, and more, listen to the full Black Tech Green Money episode below: