AirBnB Discrimination Launches New Business

 Rohan Gilkes

Rohan Gilkes

Innclusivity.com’s landing page says it all:

Home sharing without the discrimination - Join us, travel the world, and be yourself!

Rohan Gilkes found when he was trying to get a room in 2016 through AirBnB that he met with discrimination through the homesharing site and that he could not be himself. He had to ask a white friend to rent a space through AirBnB at a location that had denied Gilkes. Turned out the host snapped up Gilke’s white friend immediately.

Gilkes told Technical.ly in an article entitled, “Innclusive wants to tackle Airbnb’s race problem”:

“They have not gotten the type of response that they feel they should get and they do not think they have been treated with respect and dignity and because of that, they are frustrated. Folks have lost all trust in the institution as it is right now and are just waiting for something new. That’s what we represent.”

Gilkes also represents the kind of entrepreneurship driven by identifying a big problem and solving it. The inspiration for Innclusive.com, though, comes from a personal problem he saw as universal: He set out to make things better not just for himself, but for others in his shoes, too:

Gilkes said in the interview, "This is incredibly personal to me and it also reflects my values around how I think people of all backgrounds should be treated, whether that is by race, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical disability or whatever else."

However, Innclusive was not Gilkes’ first entrepreneurial venture. He has also established Wetshaveclub.com and Launch27.com. Wetshave.com sells shaving paraphernalia to men who take their shaving seriously while Launch27.com is a scheduling and booking site.

Diverse professionals experience a great deal of frustration in getting work, keeping work and progressing in their work. The internet age and social networking have provided a platform through which individuals who see problems can hook up with others of like mind to solve those problems and make a living in the process. Maybe even get rich.

So the next time you as a diverse professional feel blocked from just getting on with your life financially or emotionally because of the way others perceive you, remember the lesson of Gilkes and the birth of Innclusive.com: There are more ways in Heaven and Earth to get even. Entreprenuership is a sure-fire way.