TrendineerI am studying at Oxford Brookes University, originally from Reading, and I am one of the founders and Chief Executive of Trendineer, a new online store founded upon the familiar characteristics of a social network, aiming to be a loved platform that supports all types of businesses and promotes sales.

What is your background? What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
I have always had an urge to do more in the world. I have been encouraged from a young age to be different, to do things that make a big impact. My actions will mean more if I can make positive change for a group, industry or even the world. It is this motivation to do more that has driven my ambition of being an entrepreneur.

What is your definition of entrepreneurship?
An entrepreneur is somebody with an open mind. An entrepreneur thinks about people, industries and the market. An entrepreneur sees what people want, and what they need. An entrepreneur is then the driving force to supply what people want and need the most.

How and when did you know your idea was good enough to develop it?
It is simply unprecedented. The idea came last. The problem of high street decline, a pandemic, and struggling local businesses came first. The idea is a solution to a global problem, and any solution that has the potential to fix a global issue is worth developing.

What would you say are the top 3 skills that needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Why?
1. An open mind – people only take what they want, or what they need. If an idea satisfies neither of those conditions it will not be successful.
2. The will to do business for the right reasons – in a world where most ideas have already been thought of, much of an entrepreneur’s job is positioned around improving what already exists. Where current businesses monopolise and their focus shifts as their risk of non-survival gets lower, so do much of their goals. An entrepreneur is in a position to compete with ethically and morally better, tailored, underlying goals. This adds a balance to the market, and makes an entrepreneur’s venture attractive.
3. A realistic mindset – the ability to understand the risks involved in creating a start-up, knowing when what you’re trying to offer is not feasible and being able to plan your steps to growth are essential. Without a realistic mindset, your business venture will be hindered from growing, simply because steps are missing, or you’re trying to make the impossible, possible.

What is your favourite part of being an entrepreneur?
The ability to be creative – you can design your business to exactly how you imagine it to be. No corporate bodies telling you no. You are free to make what you know the world needs, without limitation.

What individual, company or organization inspires you most? Why?
Apple Inc.

Apple is the world’s most valuable technology company, started in a garage, founded upon being creatively brilliant and innovative and giving the world something new. Without that innovation, the world would be different now. The applications of that innovation are endless, and so they continue to be able to change and influence the world today, all from the sparks of a few fun projects in a Cupertino garage.

If you had 5 minutes with the above individual/ company/organization, what would you want to ask or discuss?
I would want to discuss scalability and application. How could a company I’m trying to develop scale with a world they have so much influence in. And what could companies big and small do to make improving the world a more collective effort, rather than rely on the individual initiatives of many large companies.

What has been your most satisfying or successful moment in business?
Seeing a dedicated team apply their efforts towards the same vision.

What would you say have been some of your mistakes, failures or lessons learned as an entrepreneur?
Making assumptions about providing a service – a plan is essential. An idea is fundamental, but a plan must iron out the creases before you try to develop and ignite that idea.

How have you funded your ideas?
We have a business model that requires minimal (if any) funding. We are completely online. We are already asset rich, in skills and motivation. That’s all we need to build online.

Are there any sector-specific awards/grants/competitions that have helped you?
Not yet, we’re still fairly new!

What is good about being an entrepreneur in Oxfordshire? Bad?
Access to global experts. A lot of experts in their field have called Oxford their home, and still do. Oxford provides a great place for people to collaborate with people who have made it, giving entrepreneurs the best opportunity to learn lessons and be guided towards a successful end.

If a new entrepreneur or startup came to you looking for entrepreneurship resources, where would you send them?
Programs where they can access mentors and other contacts. I am a firm believer of “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Knowledge comes from (and with) people, so it’s good, talented people you need to make something work.

Any last words of advice?
Nothing’s impossible eventually! Some aspiring entrepreneurs are limited by the idea of risk and self-doubt. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. And if it’s worth a thought, it’s worth a try!

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