In honor of Black History Month, we are interviewing some of our current members making a big impact on our community.
Ahmed Ali Bob is a Community Affairs manager at Square, a fin-tech company that is changing the way entrepreneurs and small businesses access finance. He states, “I care about communities that are underserved and reducing their barriers to opportunities.” Ahmed’s key focus is providing financial opportunities, support and visibility to local communities, such as Oakland.
“Our purpose is economic empowerment. Supporting small businesses is what we do every day.‘
Having previously worked for a non-profit, as well as for the City of Oakland, Ahmed’s key motivator is a sense of community. His drive and passion to assist small businesses is showcased through countless Square collaborations, partnerships and events. Effectively, Square has had a large presence in local cultural events, such as the Black Joy Parade and Oakland Pride Festival. Recently, they partnered with Delightful Foods at February’s Oakland First Fridays. Ultimately, this heightened visibility for the vegan cookie brand, which has been operating in Oakland for over 30 years!
“We want to spotlight the unique, small business community that exists in Oakland. It is so diverse, creative and talented.‘
Oakland Artist Collaborations
As a Bay Area native, Ahmed explains “Growing up here in Oakland, we have artwork everywhere. We have it painted on our streets. It is a beautiful and inspiring place.” His passion for local art has inspired many collaborations with local artists. For example, Square partnered with Oakland School of Arts and the Oakland Art Murmur to select two local artists works on what ‘economic empowerment’ looks like to them. Further, these artworks will be going up on Square’s uptown station signs within the next couple of months. Another upcoming project entails an Oaklander muralist creating an inspiring piece on the southside of the new Oakland office!
Ahmed’s commitment to economic empowerment and driving a sense of community from the bottom up is inspiring. He states, “We will continue to put together unique, entrepreneur focused workshops and events for the community across Oakland.‘