For the 112th Episode of the Coworking Values Podocast, we are featuring the recently concluded London Coworking Assembly Event: What If Everyone Was Entrepreneur.
The panel for this event was Cate Maiolini from Salto, Kofi Oppong of Urban MBA, and Victoria Omobuwajo of Sunmo. Most of you will know Cate from Salto and Kofi from Urban MBA. Victoria Omobuwajo started on UrbanMBA around five years ago and grew her plantain chips pop up into a brand sold in Selfridges, Sainsbury’s, Whole Foods, and Amazon.
Check this video for “How To Start Your Own Food Brand Enterprise Journey“, where Victoria shares how she got started.
Some points from the podcast:
- So, let me put it this way: in 1984. Back to the Future, showed Michael J. Fox in a sequence when Jaws appeared via a 3D hologram and attempted to attack him. I’m not sure whether anybody can recall what they used to do that long ago. And at the time, Michael J. Fox was meant to be in this year period, I believe 2026, or something equally odd. That technology is now accessible in New 3D advertising, billboards that have been trendy all year. And I simply want to point out that practically any technology that Victoria and I may have seen in the past in movies is now available. And everything that is presently happening with me, entrepreneur, and the company includes the internet, the moulding of technologies in terms of the large ones. As persons from underserved markets, we tend to be solely end users. As a result, we are never at the forefront of inventing or using such technology. So we could utilise it for social networking. Where is Jeff Bezos at a firm that recognised the internet’s arrival, then goes online and becomes Amazon. And the difficulty for me is that there is a lack of fresh understanding of the new technologies that will be coming in, particularly in the UK, and it simply comes and bites people. And we need to do a better job of explaining what these technologies are and encouraging people to think about them in order to make greater use of them in the future. So that’s why I’m constantly talking about it. (Kofi at 7.09)
- I guess the biggest issue was that it’s ridiculous that I’m the youngest black woman to enter these establishments[10 Downing Street]. Maybe one? Most likely the only one. And it’s insane that these organisations have been there for 50 years or whatever and still don’t have any black founders on their shelf. So it was a significant accomplishment that people took note of. And they said, “OK, wow, we want you to come and talk to Boris Johnson.” I believe it’s simply symbolic of being able to talk to our society’s leaders and urge for change. And during that talk, I mentioned the difficulties that small businesses have, since when you’re starting out, you don’t have a large quantity of money to throw at lawyers, accountants, and production. And that support must be present. So we spoke about it. ( Victoria at 11.32)
- For me, that’s an entrepreneur, you cannot be an entrepreneur if you don’t have a vision. For me, it is the definition of an entrepreneur; you cannot be an entrepreneur unless you have a vision. So, for example, I used to be a hairdresser. And I didn’t have the vision of an entrepreneur; I had the vision of a freelancer, saying, “OK, you know what, I’m not going to work for anybody else; I’m going to work for myself.” You have a job, so it’s the same. As an example, if I had only built one hairdresser business with two or three employees, you would have to work considerably more. While I believe that an entrepreneur, even in a small business, has a vision when he or she begins a small business. I believe it is very difficult to become an entrepreneur if you lack vision. And there, in my opinion, is the difference between a freelancer and an entrepreneur: a freelancer is someone who says, “I don’t want to work for anybody, I want to work for myself, I make my own rules,” and they are content in that position. An entrepreneur is someone who has an idea and says, “Well, I’m beginning as a freelancer, but I believe I can grow this when I can add additional people to work alongside me.” You had the vision of when you were going to be able to achieve it or not different matter. And you say ”Okay, I want to create this, and I want to be there. And to get there. And I’m going to have to do all these steps.” Because there are people that start a small business, and they are happy with their own business, you know, they might have a hairdressing shop, and just be happy to have a local hairdresser show with four or five people and just live like that. I’m not saying it’s not a healthy business; I’m just saying that’s operating a company, a local business. And the difference is that entrepreneurs have a different sort of vision. ( Cate at 21.37)
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