Monday, 21 November 2016

Do what you actually love...right now!

If you have ever seen the film Love Actually you will see it is a collection of individual stories about the same thing (love) but with different experiences faced by those who are finding it. If you haven’t, it will more than likely be on again in the run up to Christmas.

Ok it is an odd comparison to make but our Ambitious Entrepreneurs event at the University of Birmingham last week kinda followed a similar pattern to the film. Three successful entrepreneurs (not linked as such) coming back to talk about their experience of starting a business all with different stories to tell but ultimately looking for the same thing - success with their business finding the things they love the most.


One thing that hit me about all three talks was the fact their enterprising behaviours and mindsets all started whilst at University not afterwards, using creativity and innovation to come up with their business ideas.

Our first speaker, Matt Kepple from Makerble talked about finding opportunities from an earlier age – buying cheap advent calendars and selling them to classmates for a good profit.  He talked about his success started from his go-getting attitude at University – working with the Guild Musical Theatre Group and starting an annual fashion show at the Guild whilst working with the Photo society. 

Matt's view: "Do what you love, do things for the first time and use this time to try lots of things whilst you have the chance to"

The words “starting a business” often scare many but it's perhaps best to think of it as solving a problem and creating an opportunity.  Kepple left University and instantly missed the student nights which were always available.  What was his solution?  He created Gradulicious, a student themed night aimed at recent graduates.

Our second speaker, Andrew Ward talked about his experiences working on web and mobile application development with his company Scorchsoft and is currently about to launch a new mobile app called Modl - a modelling agency app designed to link entry models with opportunities.

Andrew's view: ...If you are thinking of starting your own business consider your idea using the CENTS model (Control, Entry, Need, Time and Scalability) to see if it is viable. (External example of CENTS here)

Our final speaker Joycelyn Mate in her own words “never came to University to start a business” but ended up working on a hair care product tailored for afro-caribbean hair with her friend Rachael Corson - they both experimented with the products in their halls of residence whilst studying and have since created the company Afrocenchix. If you are really passionate about starting a business then doing it at University can give you high rewards and give you a head start...

Joycelyn's view: "Without the University of Birmingham we would not be where we are today. Anyone can start a business...I don't ever say never anymore"

So at the risk of making this all about starting a business, let’s just bring this back and leave you with this final thought.  Take the advice of our speakers and go out there and go do stuff and do it now whatever your plans after graduation.  Find what you love, chase after it and make it happen right now before the end credits start rolling down and your time at University is over.  Our speaker’s did just that and now they are working on the things that they are most passionate about.  The same could happen to you.

If you were inspired by our Global Entrepreneurship Week events find out how you can get involved on our B-Enterprising website here.












B-Enterprising blog written by Bob Lee - r.lee@bham.ac.uk




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