Tag Archives: entrepreneur

Female Digital Entrepreneur

Motherhood and setting up digital enterprise – what are the challenges?

In a recent blog post, Dr Angela Martinez goes beyond the over-optimistic rhetoric usually associated with entrepreneurship and highlights The Reality of the Female Digital Entrepreneurs.   She states:

…the overwhelming conclusion of research into self employment by women, particularly mothers, is that it is more likely to intensify activity in both work and family spheres rather than resolve the tensions between the two.

Continue reading Female Digital Entrepreneur

Not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur

In a recent article, The End of Quiet Music, Alina Simone discusses her concerns with having to be entrepreneurial and ‘selling’ her music. Simone says:

 I was a singer, not a saleswoman. Not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur.

I dont agree with everything Simone suggests. For example, I have some concerns with the idea that patronage is the answer or that musicians can be supported by governments or other public institutions. However, I do have sympathy with the idea that not everyone is comfortable with being an entrepreneur. In fact, I come across this quite often. The sense that some, not all, individuals working within the creative and media industries will have to be entrepreneurial to get on, but are relunctance to fully embrace entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurial practices require high levels of personal investment and as Angela McRobbie argues, it can lead to self-exploitation. Blaming yourself if things go wrong and working hard for little financial reward; for ‘the love of it’.

 There is nothing wrong with being enterprising but the overwhelming positivity associated with enterpreneurs and entrepreneurship can provoke uneasiness. It is something we actively discuss on the MA Media and Creative Enterprise. The challenges and risks are too often gloosed over. I hope this becomes part of the discussion for the Centre for Entrepreneurs who are currently investigating the media view of entrepreneurship.

Get Lucky

How much luck do you need in business? Are entrepreneurs lucky? According to this article in Start-Up Donut, many successful entrepreneurs attribute their success, at least partly, to being in the right place at the right time; in other words, luck.

But clearly it is not all about luck. An entrepreneurial idea needs to be developed and planned before it can become a successful venture. Once established, it needs to be managed and the entrepreneur will need to be strategic in their approach. Some people talk about ‘making your own luck’ by ensuring that you take up the opportunities when they come your way. In the article, Levi Roots says:

I’m surprised how humble a lot of successful people are. They frequently tell
you they’ve been lucky, but most of them have either made their own luck or at
least taken full advantage when a little bit of luck has come their way.

As a new group of students start on the MA Media and Creative Enterprise , I am going to suggest that they think about how to make their own luck as well as doing their research and planning.

Enterprise Stories

There are lots of stories about successful entrepreneurs but fewer examples of the challenges of entrepreneurship, particularly from the cultural and media industries. My colleague, Nayan Patel and I have been working with some students at Birmingham City University (BCU) to investigate enterprise from the student perspective. On Friday 13th we will present our project at the International Enterprise Educators Conference (IEEC).

Continue reading Enterprise Stories

Marina Offers Advice for Freelancers and Entrepreneurs.

Marina Ibrahim_CookingLikeCleopatraAfter graduating from the MA Media & Creative Enterprise course in 2008, Marina Ibrahim developed and launched bizz buzz in 2010. Marina explains her two businesses:

I am coach, trainer, and managing director of bizz buzz Ltd, a company for cross-cultural projects and for people development in cultural leadership and management.

I am also the owner of Cooking like Cleopatra – my latest cookery venture launched in 2012. With my ‘Tasting Culture Workshops’ I introduce Egyptian Mezze recipes to food lovers, recipe explorers and Egypt aficionados. I also offer Tasting Culture team-building workshops and activities for businesses.

So with two businesses to run, I asked Marina how she keeps herself motivated.

Trying new ideas, being creative when it comes to developing my business further. Talking to people, who like what I am doing, asking for encouragement, support and feedback. Learning and being aware about how to improve, helps you with keeping on track and reassure that you are on the right path. Celebrate achievement and success, enjoy the journey, take time out, relax and reflect. Have fun!

With a background in marketing, Marina is well placed to offer advice for anyone starting in business.

Get your first paid contract/Get your first paying client – it is the difference that makes the difference: You are in business! When you market yourself/your business and you talk about your client/contract it makes you authentic and real, gives you confidence. It helps you positioning yourself with your marketing message:

  • When doing your elevator pitch
  • When talking about client’s needs
  • How you helped your clients and
  • It evidences that your skills and your offer is relevant, it matters on the market.
  • It is also an ideal anchor for you to do more research about existing and profiling potential future clients: Asking for feedback, undertaking surveys, networking, peer-to-peer exchange, studying sector trends, etc.

Continuously reflecting and adapting your business offer accordingly is the process of niching and fine-tuning your niche. In my opinion self-awareness and knowing how to strike the balance between creativity and management are both the key factors for a successful career in the media/when starting a creative business.

Marina is very strategic and focused in her approach. She suggests that when it comes to running a business, especially as micro-entrepreneur, freelancer, you got to be focused because you are the epicenter of your business. You’ve got to focus on your target market, your target clients, trust and apply your core skills, talents and strengths. To be able to do this, it is crucial to develop a plan. This plan works like a roadmap that helps you identify gaps, milestones and filling stations all along your journey.

So what’s next for Marina?

Having my business feet in at least three camps: media, training and food & drink, I am keeping a close eye on all three sectors. There are overlaps as well as convergence opportunities which I will be exploiting for both my businesses, whether they still run parallel or merge into something different, I shall see. For ‘Cooking like Cleopatra’ I have created my marketing plan to stage the development of my business in three phases: the launching phase, the establishing phase and the growing phase: I will be using the next 6 months to build my brand and to develop my target audience by running cookery workshops and giving a series of “Tasting Egyptian Culture” presentations on food festivals throughout the season. This is to build my client base and target audience, using social media to build business presence and to build my brand. I am already in the process of writing a book and I have already got some fabulous ideas around leveraging my business by developing some products I will sell.  So, watch the space!

Indeed, and if you want more information about Marina and her various ventures, check her out on LinkedIn or twitter @bizzbuzz_coach and @Like_Cleopatra

Thanks for the insights and good luck Marina!

Tips for working in the media: listen, look and learn!

Dominika Jankowska discusses her work and offers advice for anyone starting a career in the media.

After graduating from the MA Media & Creative Enterprise course Dominika has been working with digital marketing agencies and running her own marketing agency, Cinnamon Leaf. Her day-to-day activities range from copy writing web content, writing articles, SEO (both on and off-site), blogging, quality link-building, project management and managing social media campaigns.

 

One day I could be working on a small campaign for a local SME, another day I could be involved in a ‘giant’ project for a well-known corporation. Variety is the spice of life, as they say! Continue reading Tips for working in the media: listen, look and learn!