Founder and CEO of YellowNest, an early years education business (0-5 years) providing affordable high quality education to all in the UK.
Former HR Director of media/technology businesses providing a pioneering employee benefit for employers to attract and retain talent through a childcare benefit.
What is your background? What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
Something I have wanted to do since I was a child. My earliest business was a shop aged 4 my sister and I priced up all of our Ladybird books in order to sell them to general public. Sadly, we had not thought about access and we made no sales. On the positive side we kept all of our books! I would like to create a lasting impact and a business that has benefits over multiple generations whilst being built on a financial sustainable foundation.
What is your definition of entrepreneurship?
Having a vision and developing insight based on market knowledge. Motivating and inspiring a team to bring this vision to life and bringing impact into the world.
How and when did you know your idea was good enough to develop it?
When we started to engage potential clients and the feedback we received.
What would you say are the top 3 skills that needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Why?
Resilience, Communication, and Creativity.
It’s not an easy journey with consistent challenge these skills will get you through.
What is your favourite part of being an entrepreneur?
Seeing my idea come to fruition and impact the lives of people positively.
What individual, company or organization inspires you most? Why?
Former CEO of Sony Corporation Akio Moriti. Pre-Apple, Sony was dominant and his quote ‘I create markets’ defines this.
If you had 5 minutes with the above individual/ company/organization, what would you want to ask or discuss?
I would ask for a lifetime more. To learn from a master is never sufficient.
But assuming this is not possible…how to build an empire over multiple verticals, geographies and cultures.
What has been your most satisfying or successful moment in business?
Doing what has not been done before e.g. leading the transformation of a major business into the digital arena.
What would you say have been some of your mistakes, failures or lessons learned as an entrepreneur?
Being too honest. Sometimes bad news or honesty is not appreciated but I think this is all about integrity and holding it true.
How have you funded your ideas?
Living through tough times – the ramen diet. It would have been easy for me to stay in a comfortable CXO role in industry. Thought this idea would never have come through. I appreciate the support of my friends and family who have encouraged me.
Are there any sector-specific awards/grants/competitions that have helped you?
What is good about being an entrepreneur in Oxfordshire? Bad?
It’s a vibrant area for ideas! The best in the world, potentially!
If a new entrepreneur or startup came to you looking for entrepreneurship resources, where would you send them?
City Business Library. Mintel reports
Any last words of advice?
Do all the good whenever the chance presents it.
EnSpire Oxford is a University of Oxford initiative to help connect people to the entrepreneurship resources they need, and to promote entrepreneurship across Oxfordshire.
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