The brilliant entrepreneur Alquincia Selolwane boasts a resume that includes rapper and activist, Killer Mike vouching for intelligence and innovation. She leads information sessions that rival Ted Talks. If there is a blueprint for entrepreneurship, Selolwane has drafted it. Her latest project includes the first-ever digital commercial real estate development. She has engineered the first-ever Black virtual mall. During a time of uncertainty and panic, Selolwane showed followers and clients that depending on the government for a bailout is foolish. Each individual is their own stimulus plan. And now in a time of greater uncertainty when vaccination mandates are forcing those who are opposed to the vaccine (for whatever reason) to quit or be terminated, Selolwane’s message of carving your own lane is even more clear.
*** This isn’t an argument for or against vaccination. This is a statement about depending on others for your survival.
The Black virtual mall is a commercial digital space similar to its brick and mortar counterparts. Equipped with storefronts, a movie theatre, and a food court, patrons can access any Black Owned Business that has a storefront. The food court allows businesses with delivery accounts to deliver food to new patrons. The theatre often shows content from the digital leases, new music or arts from break-out artists as well as free classes. Selolwane often showcases her educational e-products. It is an incredible idea that places BOBs on the center stage.
On social media, Selolwane is affectionately known as AKAnundrum, a name fitting for someone who seeks to find a solution to the issues facing not only her community socially, but economically as well. Selolwane gained notoriety by educating individuals on issues facing our community.
Her start with social media came from working with the Edible Arrangements franchise and she quickly learned the power of influence and monetization. “When I first got on Instagram, No one knew what this would be,” Selolwane recalls. “I posted things like my make up… then I shifted to what was happening to us.” By happening to us, she is referring to social injustice.
Selolwane understood the assignment prior to it being an assignment.
For Blacks, generational wealth is something we aspire to, but often do not know how to attain it. Even if we start a business, it is so labor-intensive for us that at our expiration, the business often dies because we didn’t have systems to continue it. The next generation has no protocol or idea of what to do or how to get started. “We have this business. We are working on this business. It’s doing well for us. We pass and that’s the end of our business. No one, but us knew how to run this business. Our white counterparts pass their business (es) down and it continues. They understand the power of systems. The business runs on it on. It runs autonomously. The only issue they have is the person who inherits the business probably should not have inherited it,” jokes Selolwane.
“They understand the power of their time and systems. With systems, there is the ability to be scaled. If you can systemize it, you can duplicate it. And if you can duplicate it, the business can grow.” This is exactly what Selolwane plans to do which is duplicate her virtual mall as well create one for medical practitioners and another one for legal practitioners.
Selolwane has created a system that allows businesses that not only allow other businesses to benefit from the traffic she incurs, but also allows for scaling and duplication. Of the 1300 applicants, only a fraction are selected to be lessees. Several criteria have to be met including being at least 50% Black-owned and have a functional website.
She reviews each business to ensure some level of success and quality control.
Although this project appears to be the first of its kind, it is the latest iteration of Selolwane’s purpose, creating systems to allow other entrepreneurs to gain knowledge and thrive. Selolwane has engineered the FITS app prior to her AKANUNDRUM. The prior allowed for Black-owned businesses to be located in each city. The latter offers information on grants and business funding. Selolwane piloted the concept of the Black Virtual Mall early during Covid with an expo that tied businesses to other businesses and vendors creating a solid network for entrepreneurs. The reception was astounding.
Entrepreneurship is in Selolwane’s blood. Learning every aspect of the business through experience and in theory (she has taken several certifications and classes to gather in-depth knowledge), Selolwane focuses on getting the information to her community so that the community can break the cycle and carve their own lanes. When no one else could see her vision, Selolwane saw it and now she helps other entrepreneurs see their own.