Here's what they had to say.
1. "Never let anyone make you believe you are not good enough."
Young entrepreneur, Samantha Kidjo is our Community Coordinator. She noticed the lack of care and change afforded her community which drove her to become the changemaker she had been waiting for.
She left her corporate job to start her business, ICI CARE, a sustainable hair care shop with personalised journeys and products for each customer, with a focus on afro and curly hair.
Being a young female entrepreneur forced Samantha to learn the workings of the entrepreneurial world very quickly as her expertise was put to question. She advises all young entrepreneurs to remember:
2. "Welcome mistakes as lessons."
Tiany Valentine, our Programme Coordinator, is the founder of LAND OF MIEL, a shop for sculptural and organically formed unisex jewellery and homewares.
As a young entrepreneur it is both natural and unavoidable to make mistakes. Tiany advises that you make the most of these mistakes and be kind to yourself, give yourself time to reflect, and ask those close to you for feedback.
Starting out during the pandemic, Tiany took on a huge workload whilst severely under-pricing her services, which led to burnout without much to show for it. The lesson she has learned and wants to impart to you is:
3. "Don't fall into the trap of waiting for perfection."
Sosina Binyam, our Event Coordinator, was encouraged by her friends and family to turn her hobby of painting into a full fledged business, sxss collection, which is an art collection that explores female and Black identity.
If she could have done anything different at the start, Sosina says she would have started sooner and been more confident in promoting her business everywhere.
“You’ll learn as you go, so just start.”
It’s hard to step out of your comfort zone with a new venture, but once you’ve pushed yourself to start, ideas and opportunities will naturally flow in your direction.
4. "Make sure there is a clear ‘business to customers needs’ fit."
Letisha Larmond, our Future Founders Coordinator, is the founder of Frooted, the Uk’s first blenderless smoothie company on a mission to “transform the country’s digestive health, one delicious smoothie at a time.”
Letisha highlights the value in customer feedback which really helps the process of shaping a business. Find the problem you want to solve, then “make sure there is a clear ‘business to customers needs’ fit”.
Striving for perfection often results in missed opportunities. Her advice for a fellow young entrepreneur is:
5. "People are more open to sharing knowledge than you think."
Anu Chandy, our Programme Manager, was inspired by her upbringing in Kerala in southern India when founding Kera London, a 100% natural soy wax candle shop.
“A lot of things I learned along the way came from talking to other founders and asking for advice. People are more open to sharing knowledge than you think.”
Staying motivated and disciplined as a young entrepreneur can be extremely difficult. There is huge value in networking to find yourself a supportive community and mentors that can help you be accountable and achieve your goals.