Two nominations, two stars: 

Deqa Abukar and Mikaela Larsell Ayesa

It’s time to honour Stockholm’s sharpest minds in marketing and communication in 2022. Kista is proudly home to two of four finalists in the Future Promise of the Year category: Deqa Abukar and Mikaela Larsell Ayesa. Why are we not surprised?!

When the Stockholm Marketing Association announced the nominations for the 2022 Marketing Manager of the Year awards, there was not just one, but two Kista-based talents named in the Future Promise of the Year category. But, as already mentioned, we are not surprised. After all, this is a place full of committed, creative and talented people!

Deqa Abukar and BLING Startup

While many people in Kista may have already heard of BLING and Deqa Abukar, for those who haven’t, Deqa is the CEO of the BLING network, which works to strengthen society with the help of entrepreneurship.

BLING, which stands for "Bringing Locals into Innovation and Growth", is a movement that started as a reaction to entrepreneurial segregation and as an attempt to drive positive social change. It aims to counteract exclusion through good leadership, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

BLING is run by entrepreneurs and enthusiasts who believe in people's dreams and abilities. It works to increase people's opportunities to start successful businesses, with networks, knowledge, experienced mentors, and other support to make it easier to dare to take that first step. BLING believes in entrepreneurship as a force for change. It wants to highlight role models and show that entrepreneurship is a path that can be taken no matter where you live.

Deqa Abukar, for example, has previously spoken about how her mother is a role model to her. Without knowing the Swedish language well or having any real knowledge of Swedish banks and loans, Deqa’s mother started her own company shortly after moving to Sweden. She had drive ­– and showed Deqa the way. Deqa told Situation Stockholm that because her mother's conditions were more difficult than her own, she never felt that she could say to herself that she couldn’t do it.


In addition to the BLING Startup, the BLING family today consists of several successful organizations and initiatives:

  • The Womenisa network for women's development and entrepreneurship.
  • The Idea Competition För-orten to encourage and find the best local entrepreneur and ideas that foster change.
  • The urban hub Bridge – a place (in Kista of course!) for trade, meetings and inspiration where entrepreneurs have the opportunity to grow.
  • The structural challenger Shift, a collaboration between Bling and the news site Breakit to change and democratize the flow of venture capital.

The network currently has more than 700 members and has contributed to more than 200 startups.

We rise by lifting others.


Mikaela Larsell Ayesa and Hack Your Closet

Mikaela Larsell Ayesa is the co-founder of digital clothing company and styling service Hack Your Closet. Hack Your Closet works with fashion from a sustainable perspective. The idea for the business grew out of dissatisfaction with and frustration over the fashion industry's environmental values.

According to Forbes, the clothing industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. It overproduces clothes and simply discards the overstock. Since it is environmentally difficult, if not impossible, to influence already completed clothing production, Hack Your Closet chose instead to focus on the major problem of the growing number of unsold and unused clothing.

Hack Your Closet curbs waste by offering a subscription service for clothes. Mikaela Larsell Ayesa recently explained to fashion and lifestyle site Modette that they use quality surplus garments from various stores instead of letting them be thrown away. They have stylists who research and hand-pick used clothing. All items are inspected, washed and stored in order to rent them out – and in this way, give the consumer an alternative to buying new. As a subscriber, you receive clothes every four weeks, wear them, send them back and then receive new clothes delivered to your home. The purpose is to increase the life of each garment.

Hack Your Closet challenges the world's second most polluting industry

The target group is women between the ages of 18 and 70 who like clothes but want to act more sustainably. Currently, the 25 to 35 age group are the most diligent users and as of late 2021, the company had close to 3,000 paying subscribers.

According to an interview with founders Lisa Gautier and Mikaela Larsell Ayesa on the news site Breakit, Hack Your Closet’s customers have reduced their emissions by 97 percent. The figure is based on detailed calculations that show how 170 garments sent home from the rental service correspond to the emissions from buying three new garments yourself.

Final 12 May 2022

The Kloud editorial staff wish to congratulate the 2022 Marketing Manager of the Year award nominees and say good luck before the final on 12 May. We hope to soon have interviews with our Future Promises.

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