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Social Entrepreneurship in the spotlight at Germany’s SME Week Conference 2016

Germany’s main SME conference ahead of this year’s European SME Week focused on the lively social enterprise scene that has developed in the country. According to the keynote speaker Kristin Schreiber, from the European Commission’s Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, one in four new companies set up across the EU is a social enterprise.

160628_KMU-Konferenz_SprecherThe German national event, which took place on 28 June, brought together almost 130 experts from networks, funding bodies, science and academia as well as entrepreneurs. In line with the motto of this year’s conference – ‘Addressing social challenges. Undertaking dedicated action. Embracing responsible entrepreneurship’, the discussion focused on what social enterprises need in order to flourish.

The main idea behind this conference was to make social enterprises more widely known and to promote their interests and needs among established players, such as chambers of commerce, consultancy firms and funding bodies. A particular highlight of the conference was the four presentations given by social entrepreneurs to showcase their innovative business ideas:

  • Andrea-Victoria Noelle is co-founder of Beliya GmbH, a designer label for bags and accessories that works for a good cause: for every bag sold, a child in Africa is sponsored for one school year.
  • Ralf Sange from Gründer 50plus UG supports people over the age of 50 who are considering setting up their own business.
  • Anne Kjær Riechert founded the ReDI School of Digital Integration gGmbH where refugees – mostly from Syria – become students, learning computer programming and coding so that they can find a job in Germany.
  • Martin Reh co-founded the RSO Shift GmbH, a company that constructs a medical device for developing regions that cleans, disinfects and sterilises operating equipment using nothing but solar power.

The discussion also focused on the results of a study on social entrepreneurship published by the German Economic Affairs Ministry.

A video of the conference highlights, with subtitles in English, is available here below.

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Where are they now? Catching up with past EEPA winners

2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). In this new feature, we catch up with former EEPA honourees who’ve gone on to do great things since winning the award.

This week, Klaudia Valuskova (pictured) from the award-winning AV Mobilita project reflects on the impact of winning an EEPA two years on...

Name Klaudia Valuskova
Organisation AV Mobilita
Country Slovakia
Website www.avmobilita.sk
Award won Responsible, Social and Inclusive Entrepreneurship
Year 2014

klaudia-valuskovaWhat was it like to win the award?

It was a complete surprise and satisfaction at the same time.

Tell us about your project?

AV Mobilita is a sheltered workshop specialising in integrating disabled people into all areas of life. It focuses on car repairs and it now coordinates other workshops forming part of the Škoda Handy Disabled Persons Project. The scheme has facilitated the smooth integration of disabled people into society through mediation of special-priced vehicle sales and through comprehensive theoretical and practical training of applicants seeking a licence to drive a car. In 2009, the workshop received an award from the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic for the integration of disabled persons into the workplace.

What response did you receive from your colleagues and peers to receiving an EEPA?

We received a positive response.

What has been the long-term impact?

The award laid the foundation for other projects in this particular area.

Why did you decide to enter the national competition?

The main reason was to draw the public’s attention to our area of work and encourage those we work with, those with disabilities, to partake of our service. For me, the great achievement was winning the national award. The international success wasn’t even hoped for.

What advice would you give to others thinking of entering?

All good ideas should be shared and adapted by others and the award is great way to achieve this.

To find out more about AV Mobilita, visit www.avmobilita.sk.

 

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Stop hesitating – the time to start your business is now!

ListMinut is an internet platform that allows its 40,000 users to outsource small tasks and jobs to reliable service providers located nearby. In this interview, co-founder Jonathan Schockaert talks about his experience and the challenges he encounters on a daily basis, and gives advice for young entrepreneurs thinking of starting their own businesses.


Jonathan SchockaertName: 
Jonathan Schockaert
Age: 26
Country: Belgium
Business name: ListMinut
Website: https://www.listminut.be/
Year started: 2013


What should people know about you and what you do?

I was born and raised in a family of entrepreneurs. I’ve always wanted to start my own business and to build something that would have a real positive impact on people’s lives. I started really young – taking part in different entrepreneurial initiatives during my teenage years, ended up studying for a Master’s in Entrepreneurship at university and started developing ListMinut for my thesis.

ListMinut is a marketplace where we allow our users to outsource their small tasks (mowing the lawn, assembling IKEA furniture, taking care of the dogs during the holidays…) to reliable individuals in their neighbourhood.

What are the pros and cons of running your own business?

I wanted to become an entrepreneur to be my own boss and choose my schedule. But in reality, I rarely take important decisions alone. What’s more, I wake up much earlier than when I was at university and also return home later. But I truly love what I do. I’m working with awesome people every day, doing something different all the time and having a real impact on the outcome. I learn something new every single day.

Which challenges do you have to overcome on a day-to-day basis?

Being active in the sharing economy implies a lot of legal troubles. A few hours after our first TV broadcast, I received a call from a Belgian institution asking us to shut down the platform. We had to fight really hard for three years, but now a new law has just been passed in Belgium to support the sharing economy. Belgium is one of the pioneers in Europe and we’re proud to be part of it. We’ve also created an association (the Digital Platform Initiative) together with Take Eat Easy, Menu Next Door, Deliveroo, Uber and Flav’r to go further and reduce the barriers to entrepreneurship in Belgium.

What advice would you give to other young people thinking of starting their own businesses?

Stop thinking, start doing. Ideas are worthless. It’s all about execution. This means that you don’t have to be afraid of other people stealing your idea. To avoid building something that nobody wants, you should talk to people. Talk to people about your idea and make use of the feedback to grow.

What would you have done differently if you had the chance?

Nothing. I’m really happy to be where we are. We’ve made a lot of mistakes, but we’ve learned from all of them and that’s what makes us what we are today.

Perhaps a final message you feel should be broadcast, to encourage peers to take the plunge?

Fasten your seatbelts. Entrepreneurship is not a long quiet river. But it’s definitively worth it, so stop hesitating – the time to start your business is now!

Listminut (1)

To find out more about Listminut, visit www.listminut.be .

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The importance of creativity in business

The blog post on 30 May, talked about creativity being at the heart of scaling up, but creativity is also at the heart of developing and building any business, as Dr Leonie Baldacchino, Director of the Edward de Bono Institute for the Design and Development of Thinking at the University of Malta, explains in this interview.

At the SME Assembly in Luxembourg last November you explained how everyone can be more creative. Could you give a brief overview of how this can be achieved?

leoniesmall

I view creativity as a skill.  Since a skill is an ability that is learned through practice, I believe that everyone can be more creative by engaging in regular creative thinking exercises.  

Let’s take swimming as an analogy.  Human beings are born with the potential to learn how to swim but, in order to become competent swimmers, they must first acquire basic swimming skills, followed by many hours of training in the pool to enhance their technique, strength and endurance. Similarly, human beings are born with the potential to be creative, but attaining this potential requires skill acquisition followed by regular practice to internalise creative thinking skills and develop expertise.  

One of the simplest exercises that one can carry out to enhance creativity is the application of divergent thinking to everyday objects. Divergent thinking refers to the generation of multiple responses or solutions to a particular stimulus or problem. This is regarded as a key skill in creativity as it enables individuals to generate many different ideas. Getting into the habit of generating alternatives by, for example, thinking of many different (and unusual) uses for common items like a sock, a wheel or a piece of paper, enhances one of the most basic skills in creativity.

Many tools and techniques are available to help us be more creative. Some may seem awkward or difficult to the uninitiated but, just like swimming becomes effortless to the swimmer who glides through the water after mastering the relevant techniques, creativity becomes second nature to individuals who make use of creative thinking tools on a regular basis.

A great deal has been written about innovation and its importance for entrepreneurs. How does this differ from creativity and how do you see the role of creativity in business?

I view creativity and innovation as overlapping constructs at two ends of the creative process.  Creativity is the first stage in the creative process and occurs when an individual has an idea that is both new and useful. Innovation is the last stage of the process and refers to the implementation of a creative idea in order to derive value. Innovations can take various forms, including products, services, processes and technologies. The defining feature is that they must be different from and better than what is already available in a particular context. Therefore, before ideas are implemented, they are generally screened to determine their novelty, added-value, feasibility and compatibility with business objectives to ensure their appropriateness for particular settings.    

It has become widely accepted that creativity and innovation are crucial for business success, especially in the ever-changing and uncertain world which we live in today.  Creative thinking is required to regularly come up with new ideas to solve problems that may arise, and to address the challenges brought about by changing customer requirements, market structures, or competitive fields.  However, the reactive function of creativity in the face of change is only one half of the picture.  Creativity is also concerned with instigating change on the basis of a new idea or concept, not because there is a problem to solve, but because an opportunity for improvement has been recognised.  Entrepreneurs who run high-growth businesses do not simply adapt to changes in their environment, but are actively involved in disrupting and creating new markets, i.e., they are trendsetters, not followers.  This proactive side of creativity is especially important in today’s highly competitive business world in which players are constantly striving for that added advantage, thus rendering the mere maintenance of one’s current position insufficient.  

Some businesses outsource their R & D and their product development but it seems likely you would not suggest this solution, but would, rather, encourage the business to build their capacity for creativity. Can you offer some guidance on increasing creative capacity across a business as a whole?

There are many ways in which entrepreneurs and managers can increase the creative capacity of their businesses.  First, they must realise that they have a very important role to play in providing top-down support for creativity and innovation as their beliefs, attitudes and behaviours invariably lay the foundations on which their organisation’s practices and policies are built.  Second, they should appreciate that, if given the opportunity, each and every member of an organisation has the potential to contribute to the creative capacity of a business, as they often have ideas that could lead to an improvement in some aspect of the organisation.

Business leaders must therefore walk the walk by creating a climate that is characterised by a high level of trust and open communication across all levels to foster creativity and innovation.  Furthermore they should actively encourage idea generation, risk-taking and experimentation, and they should treat failures that are made in the pursuit of innovation as learning opportunities.  Furthermore, a system must be in place to facilitate the generation, communication, evaluation and implementation of employee ideas. Such systems, which are generally referred to as idea management or innovation management systems, are a set of procedures that dictate what should happen when employees have ideas that they would like to propose to their organisation.  Many people believe that structures and procedures are detrimental to creativity and innovation, but without such a system, ideas are likely to fizzle out and die before they can ever be implemented.

education_01_temp-1333872318-4f8146be-620x348

You’ve already described the creativity process and how to build and develop creativity as a skill set, could you now give a brief outline of the academic programmes in this field that you run at the University of Malta.

The Edward de Bono Institute for the Design and Development of Thinking at the University of Malta offers a Master in Creativity and Innovation, a part-time evening Diploma in Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, as well as a PhD programme in these subject areas.

The Master in Creativity and Innovation is an interdisciplinary programme designed to assist participants to expand their perception, employ creative skills, develop ideas individually and within teams, sustain a creative climate and manage innovation.  This programme attracts professionals from a broad base of disciplines from the local and international scene.  

The Diploma in Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship is aimed at individuals who would like to further their education and improve their career prospects but are not in a position to attend full-time day courses due to other commitments. Students shall develop knowledge, transferable skills and attitudes concerning creativity and idea generation, innovation (including innovation management), and entrepreneurship.  

The PhD programme is aimed at individuals who would like to undertake research at a Doctoral level in one of the Institute’s subject areas, namely creativity, innovation (including innovation management), entrepreneurship, or foresight (futures studies).

For further information:

 

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Where are they now? Catching up with past EEPA winners

2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). In this new feature, we catch up with former EEPA honourees who’ve gone on to do great things since winning the award.

This week, Paulo Santos (pictured) from the award-winning AMS – Thinking Ahead project in Portugal reflects on the impact of winning an EEPA two years on…

Paulo Santos, Navigator Tissue Rodao

Name Paulo Santos
Organisation NAVIGATOR TISSUE RODAO (FORMER AMS-BR STAR PAPER, SA)
Country Portugal
Website http://www.amspt.eu/en/
Award won Supporting the development of green markets and resource efficiency
Year 2014

AMSThinkingAhead_noticia_21-07-2015

 

What was it like to win the award?

It was recognition of all the work that we’ve been doing since 2009. The European Enterprise Promotion Award confirmed that, by thinking in a green way, we can convert a standard production process into an eco-friendly production process that, in this case, amounts to a huge combination of sustainability and profitability.

How did winning the award immediately impact your work?

It was great for our social media exposure. Before the EEPA, the company was very well known in local social media, but after the award, we got a lot of coverage nationally on social media, who were trying to cover the ecoview of the tissue production process. At the same time, we had a visit from the Deputy Prime Minister and the Environment Minister to show their support for this green concept.

What response did you receive from your colleagues and peers?

The best response that we’ve received from our peers is to see that nowadays, our eco view of the tissue production method is being emulated by them. If we go back in time, we remember that in 2009, all our peers said that producing paper by pipeline – getting the liquid pulp from our supplier to our plant – was pure imagination.

What has been the long-term impact?

We can’t say for sure whether the European Enterprise Promotion Award was the big factor in our acquisition by one of the biggest global enterprises in the paper industry – The Navigator Company. However, the EEPA gave us the kind of social media exposure that we wouldn’t have had without it.

Why did you decide to enter the national competition?

We decided to enter the national competition to promote our concept internationally and show that our production method not only works, but works better than the standard production model. We were trying to be the disruptors in our industry.

How did you go about preparing your application and making it award winning?

I would say it was quite easy. We explained the production process in a simple way and summarised all the economic and social benefits of our project from the beginning.

What advice would you give to others thinking of entering?

My best advice would be keep it simple. My second best advice would be to describe the project very clearly and to quantify all the impacts (not only the economic impacts, but the social ones too).

To find out more about AMS Thinking Ahead, visit http://www.amspt.eu/en/

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Young entrepreneurs in Wales share their top tips for success

Part of the Business Wales service, the Big Ideas Wales campaign aims to support the next generation of young entrepreneurs in Wales. On the initiative’s website, young Welsh entrepreneurs share their experience and give their top tips for other young entrepreneurs aiming to achieve success in the business world.

Abi Carter – Forensic Resources

My business is Forensic Resources Limited, and my big idea was to set up a forensic science consultancy firm. My top tip for young entrepreneurs would be to have self-confidence and to take whatever your gut tells you as a very, very good warning sign, be it good or bad.

Dan Lewis – PHP Genie

Our big idea was to be the best in web design in the very early days. My top tip for young entrepreneurs would be to be passionate about what you do.

Phillippa Tuttiet – Female Building and Interiors

My big idea was to set up an all-female building company called Female Building and Interiors. My top tip for young entrepreneurs would be to get a job, no matter what the job is, even if it is a paper-round. Go out and get some work experience, find out what it is like to be in the real world.

Geraint Hughes – BWTRI

My big idea was, and still is, to develop a food business in my local area. What is my top tip for young people? Well, I’d say, if you can, try to trial your idea on a small scale initially. You will learn, because something unexpected always comes up.

Gareth Jones – Welsh ICE

My big idea was to bring together passionate and committed entrepreneurs. My top tip for young entrepreneurs is: don’t ask for permission, just get on with it. It is a lot easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission in the first place.

Adam Amor – Buffoon Media

My big idea was to set up a video production company. My top tip for young entrepreneurs in Wales is to do your homework, research your area and competing businesses and make sure your idea is unique.

Sarah Reast – Timberkits

My big idea was to work in a business where I could run a team, because for me that’s where the fun is in running a business – seeing a team coming together, with all their different skills and ideas, and to bring that together in a way that creates something interesting. Top tip for young entrepreneurs is to do something in a different way; do something different in a different way.

Shaun Roberts – Creative Catalysts

My top tip is: just do it! There is never a perfect time to start a business, there is only the present.

Andrew Evans – Artist

My big idea was to become an artist. Top tip – go for it!

Nicola Hemsley – Organised Kaos

My big idea was to turn my hobby into a viable business and to involve the community. My top tip – my first one would be: ‘don’t give up!’ My second and third one would be: ‘don’t give up!’ The fourth is: trust yourself. The fifth would be to listen to your own advice, don’t let other people tell you what to do. The sixth would be to get out there, find your market. Seven – don’t give up! Eight – don’t give up! Nine – it’s going to be really hard sometimes, but still don’t give up. Number ten – reach for the stars, because you will get half-way there.

For more information: https://businesswales.gov.wales/bigideas/video/top-tips-young-entrepreneurs

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MBA student survey on disadvantaged entrepreneurs reveals surprising results

MBA students in Amsterdam and Brussels were asked for their views on the disadvantages faced by various groups of entrepreneurs: women entrepreneurs, disabled entrepreneurs, migrant entrepreneurs and others, with some surprising feedback.

Team of young casual business people collaborating on an online project using a digital touchpad tablet computer in a bright modern office space. Serie with light flares

On women entrepreneurs

Suzanne from Slovenia is a fashion major. “According to Eurostat, women account for around 60 % of MBA students and it’s even higher in my country, so right now the majority of young people entering business are women. Our real challenge is still the traditional bias against women in business but we have the same access to resources so I don’t see the problem.”

Houng, from Vietnam and planning on a business career in luxury goods, added, “Women are generally better educated than our male contemporaries, we have better interpersonal skills and have a lower feeling of entitlement. Perhaps it is males who are now ‘disadvantaged’.”

Hans from the Netherlands reluctantly agreed. “My experience is that women are generally better placed in terms of raising finance as there are so many lenders who only lend to women. And women are now entering every field, even those traditional male-orientated ones like construction. They’re competing on a level playing field.”

On being a foreigner

Marko from Estonia is planning on starting a business in the Netherlands. “The biggest challenge of all is the language. If you can’t read, write and speak the language then it is really difficult to cope with the official rules and regulations. In my own country this wouldn’t be a problem, but here I have to rely on my partner and her father.”

Arati from India finds the challenge is cultural. “Being a woman is not the issue but being Indian presents problems. With people my age they don’t care that I’m brown and culturally exotic, but when I have to talk to the government agencies I feel very excluded.”

Omar, who was born in Belgium of Moroccan parents, agreed. “There are still a lot of cultural and even racial issues with the older people. I come from Brussels and there is a large Moroccan community to support me but getting to see Belgium customers can be a real challenge, especially after the terrorist attacks.”

Adan, a Syrian who has been granted asylum in Belgium and is working his way through college, had a slightly different story. “I’m a refugee and there is very little support from the state, and the job I’ve got is the type the locals wouldn’t do but it means I have a competitive advantage. I don’t think I’ll be able to start a business here until I can speak French fluently but even then the locals don’t trust us and I get hassled all the time because I’m Syrian.”

On being disabled

Manon from Belgium uses a wheelchair after a car accident five years ago. “Wheelchair access is the biggest barrier to a business career. This is the first business school where I’ve had easy access and that means I can get the sort of education that I need to be successful. All new buildings have such access of course but I still can’t get into some offices. I don’t need special conditions except I do need things to be at my height.”

All the students had a common theme: being an entrepreneur is about doing what you can with what you have rather than expecting special treatment. The challenges and barriers they discussed were all surmountable and most were based on interpersonal behaviour rather than real difficulties. Of course, there are many other people who would disagree with them, and some interesting perspectives can be found at the following links.

 

United Nations University/Maastricht University 

The Guardian newspaper

Interview with Carolyn Downs of Lancaster University

The Prince’s Trust 

Photo credit: ©iStock/julie514

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Where are they now? Catching up with past EEPA winners

2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). In this new feature, we catch up with former EEPA honourees who’ve gone on to do great things since winning the award.

This week, Malgorzata Pliszka from the award-winning District Labour Office of Nysa in Poland reflects on the impact of winning an EEPA six years on…

Malgorzata Pliszka, District Labour Office of Nysa

Name Malgorzata Pliszka
Organisation District Labour Office of Nysa
Country Poland
Website http://www.pup.nysa.pl/
Award won Entrepreneurship/ Promoting the Entrepreneurial
Year 2010

What was it like to win the award?Malgorzata Pliszka

It was a great feeling to experience the joy and the appreciation of our efforts together with my colleagues. The award was a great surprise and a great honour.

Tell us about your project.

The project, “Construction of houses by means of a training system for unemployed persons” began in the period in which the labour market in the region of Nysa suffered a deficit of qualified construction workers. At the same time, at the District Labour Office in Nysa, we had over 2,000 people registered as unemployed, without professional qualifications, who were mostly unemployed for many years. Moreover, individual local governments in the Nysa region had problems with a lack of financial resources for construction of houses / social flats. The idea to build a real house during training seemed to be a great idea to create effective and socially responsible training programmes.

How did winning the award immediately impact your work?

It resulted in huge interest from both the media and other organisations. We presented our success story at many conferences and meetings. The project has been widely featured in both local and national media. Many organisations took up the challenge and duplicated our actions.

What response did you receive from your colleagues and peers?

Congratulations and words of appreciation.

What has been the long-term impact?

The long-term impact is a perception of our institution as a professional organisation working hard to help people at risk of social exclusion and unemployed families. Another long-term effect on the project is that we’ve built informal partnerships with institutions working to help the unemployed.

Why did you decide to enter the national competition?

We realised that the project was a kind of experiment, an innovative action that we wanted to share with others. We thought that our work was worth sharing and, ultimately, imitating, and it deserved to be showcased in a big forum.

How did you go about preparing your application and making it award winning?

Our project was described in a comprehensive way; we showed the benefits that were the result of its implementation, both the immaterial aspect of equipping participants with the skills and training that enabled them to take up employment, as well as the material result of the project, which was the creation of a residential building.

What advice would you give to others thinking of entering?

Don’t be afraid to shout about what you’re doing.

Find out more about The District Labour Office of Nysa 

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SME Week Newsletter: Issue #3

Inspiring a new generation of European entrepreneurs

Youth-banner--blog-600x150

This month, we’re focusing on youth. It goes without saying that young entrepreneurs are the future of European enterprise, which is why the tagline for this year’s SME Week, Inspiring a new generation of European entrepreneurs, is a nod to our role as an institution, and as individuals, in nurturing their talent.
Throughout July on the Promoting Enterprise blog, we’ll be featuring young people who are doing big things in the world of enterprise – as founders, creators, and innovators.
If you know any young entrepreneurs who deserve recognition, let us know and we’ll do our best to feature them on the blog and across our social media channels.
And don’t forget to spread the word about our youth essay competition to the young people you know. Read more >>

<< Previous Issue #2

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A Business Tailored for the YouTube Generation: Tania Habimana

This month, we’ll be focusing on the new generation of entrepreneurs taking European enterprise into the future and taking the world by storm. Featuring young businesspeople under the age of 30, we’ll be finding out how they do it, why they do it, and what advice they would give to others wishing to follow in their footsteps. And if you’re aged between 16-25 and have a big idea about what Europe can do to encourage youth entrepreneurship, enter our youth essay competition to win a trip to the SME Assembly in Bratislava this November.

Tailored_Business_Tania

Name: Tania Habimana
Age: 27
Country: United Kingdom
Business name: Tailored Business TV
Website: www.tailoredbusinesstv.com
Year started: 2015

What kind of business are you in?

I run a dual business. The first is a television series called Tailored Business. The second is a suit business specialising in the African body-type. Unusual? Let me explain a bit more. The television series is about my journey trying to set up a suit business on the African continent. I visit countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and more making suits for my clients and trying to grow my business. While I’m taking my clients’ measurements, I interview them on how to grow a successful business on the continent. So, in a nutshell, I’m a dual entrepreneur: a media entrepreneur and a fashion entrepreneur.

Why did you decide to start your own business rather than work for someone else?

I was already halfway there when I took the decision. I had been working as an intrapreneur (an employee within a company who promotes innovative product development and marketing) for a Dutch menswear company for three years, with as my main task being to bring the suit label to Africa for the first time and set-up its operations. Whilst doing this, I felt an increasing desire to share my experience with the world and also showcase all the entrepreneurial activities that are happening on the continent. I was truly amazed. The state of entrepreneurial innovation in Africa is far beyond what we would expect from “emerging” markets. It’s a solutions-based innovation; innovation occurs because people need alternative solutions than that which exist, and this makes Africa very exciting, this makes entrepreneurship very exciting. So I took the leap and tried it out for myself completely.

What’s been the biggest challenge?

Pacing myself. When you’re no longer restricted by company guidelines and policies, there’s a temptation to go in multiple directions and try everything.

Tailored_Business_4

Why did you decide to set up in Europe and Africa?

I registered my television production business in London because of its strong media hold globally and because I knew there were many start-up supports in the form of funding and advice available in the UK to young entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, we haven’t qualified for financial support yet, but the assistance has already been beneficial for us. And with the suit business in Africa, we’re still deciding on which country to set it up in.

What advice would you give to other young people thinking of starting their own business?

I’d say to start as soon as possible. Don’t wait until you have all the answers. The reality is that you’ll never have all the answers and, on top of that, even if you do, you have to make mistakes – that’s part of entrepreneurship. If you don’t make mistakes, you don’t learn. If you don’t learn, you don’t improve.

To find out more about Tailored Business, visit www.tailoredbusinesstv.com and watch the TV show .

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    • Social Entrepreneurship in the spotlight at Germany’s SME Week Conference 2016 July 25, 2016
      Germany’s main SME conference ahead of this year’s European SME Week focused on the lively social enterprise scene that has developed in the country. According to the keynote speaker Kristin Schreiber, from the European Commission’s Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, one in four new companies set up across the EU is […]
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    • Where are they now? Catching up with past EEPA winners July 22, 2016
      2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). In this new feature, we catch up with former EEPA honourees who’ve gone on to do great things since winning the award. This week, Klaudia Valuskova (pictured) from the award-winning AV Mobilita project reflects on the impact of winning an EEPA two years […]
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    • Stop hesitating – the time to start your business is now! July 20, 2016
      ListMinut is an internet platform that allows its 40,000 users to outsource small tasks and jobs to reliable service providers located nearby. In this interview, co-founder Jonathan Schockaert talks about his experience and the challenges he encounters on a daily basis, and gives advice for young entrepreneurs thinking of starting their own businesses. Name: Jonathan Schockaert […]
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    • The importance of creativity in business July 18, 2016
      The blog post on 30 May, talked about creativity being at the heart of scaling up, but creativity is also at the heart of developing and building any business, as Dr Leonie Baldacchino, Director of the Edward de Bono Institute for the Design and Development of Thinking at the University of Malta, explains in this […]
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    • Where are they now? Catching up with past EEPA winners July 15, 2016
      2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). In this new feature, we catch up with former EEPA honourees who’ve gone on to do great things since winning the award. This week, Paulo Santos (pictured) from the award-winning AMS – Thinking Ahead project in Portugal reflects on the impact of winning […]
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    • Young entrepreneurs in Wales share their top tips for success July 13, 2016
      Part of the Business Wales service, the Big Ideas Wales campaign aims to support the next generation of young entrepreneurs in Wales. On the initiative’s website, young Welsh entrepreneurs share their experience and give their top tips for other young entrepreneurs aiming to achieve success in the business world. Abi Carter – Forensic Resources My […]
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    • MBA student survey on disadvantaged entrepreneurs reveals surprising results July 11, 2016
      MBA students in Amsterdam and Brussels were asked for their views on the disadvantages faced by various groups of entrepreneurs: women entrepreneurs, disabled entrepreneurs, migrant entrepreneurs and others, with some surprising feedback. On women entrepreneurs Suzanne from Slovenia is a fashion major. “According to Eurostat, women account for around 60 % of MBA students and it’s even […]
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    • Where are they now? Catching up with past EEPA winners July 8, 2016
      2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). In this new feature, we catch up with former EEPA honourees who’ve gone on to do great things since winning the award. This week, Malgorzata Pliszka from the award-winning District Labour Office of Nysa in Poland reflects on the impact of winning an […]
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    • SME Week Newsletter: Issue #3 July 7, 2016
      Inspiring a new generation of European entrepreneurs This month, we’re focusing on youth. It goes without saying that young entrepreneurs are the future of European enterprise, which is why the tagline for this year’s SME Week, Inspiring a new generation of European entrepreneurs, is a nod to our role as an institution, and as individuals, […]
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    • A Business Tailored for the YouTube Generation: Tania Habimana July 6, 2016
      This month, we’ll be focusing on the new generation of entrepreneurs taking European enterprise into the future and taking the world by storm. Featuring young businesspeople under the age of 30, we’ll be finding out how they do it, why they do it, and what advice they would give to others wishing to follow in […]
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