Shapers of Tomorrow Mentorship meeting was organized on 07.03.2022

Chevening Alumni Mentors Network discussed entrepreneurial spirit

Shapers of Tomorrow Mentorship meeting was organized on 07.03.2022

We all carry the entrepreneurial spirit in us, but the ecosystem around us do matter to be an entrepreneur, was one of the key messages from the Shapers of Tomorrow Chevening Mentorship Network meeting on 07.03.2022.

The Mentoring Programme not only supports students, but also strengthen the Chevening Network and connects scholars with business community, Roumiana Atanassova, member of the programme management team pointed out.

Four Chevening alumni shared their entrepreneurial experience.

Alma Gerxhani Founder of Manderina Marketing and Tourism Consultancy pointed out that entrepreneurship is especially important for small economy, such as Albania, where 90% of economy depends on small businesses. She carries the entrepreneurial spirit herself and this is why she chose to be entrepreneur. She reckons that taking this path requires a lot of effort. However, if one really believes in their talent, they should challenge themselves. “Every day I have to learn something new. It depends on individuals how we can accommodate new knowledge and put it into the world”.

The winner of UKAlumni Award 2022 in business and innovation, Oluwafemi Adedipe, Chief Executive, Pistis Finserve Centre pointed out that in Africa most of microfinancing operations are focusing on access of women to capital, as well as small businesses. The digital technology is adopted rapidly in the financial sector. Mega MfB (Microfinance Bank) is empowering African entrepreneurs – every single African is entrepreneur. Mobikash allows people with no access to bank premises to use financial services. The aim is to become of the top 5 of Nigeria finance providers in 2025, His advised to future entrepreneurs is to think about the service that people want to use instead of the thing that only they are interested in.

Arta Istrefi, Founder of Women Entrepreneurs Kosovo for peer to peer collaboration, shared her thoughts that becoming an entrepreneur is going an extra mile. There is a difference between entrepreneurship and business, she pointed out. Entrepreneur has to think not only about profit, but also about impact as well – for example, trader is not an entrepreneur. She is working for helping entrepreneurs scaling up their businesses. It is no failure until you learning. We shall always tell ourselves: I can do better!

Borebardhe Mazreku, a Chevening scholar from Kosovo studied social innovation and entrepreneurship. She shared some principles about social entreneurship.

Her company, Bardha’s Cake is the first social enterprise in Kosovo hiring women without a monthly income. She believes that if mothers were working, it would influence their children’s mind towards too. It made her to apply for the grant project at German for International Cooperation office with an idea about Bardha’s cake. After founded her company Bardha’s cake, she realized her company is social enterprise and it made her to study further about social entrepreneurship in LSE.

Quoting Muhammad Yunus, a founder of Grameen Bank underlined, that “Charity money has one life, but social business money has endless life”. She emphasized that social entrepreneur is about to give and to get from the community.

Ben Ovio, Chevening Alumni Alliance Board Member shared three crucial questions to ask yourself: Can I make it? Can I sell it? and Can I earn out of it?

If you have an answer, you can give it a go!

Key messages from the meeting include:

  1. You can be entrepreneur even if you do not have background or experience in that.
  2. Service for free. – Won’t take it or wont value it.
  3. Do not think only about profits, you should think about whether you can bring something good for someone and if people really need it?
  4. Do think about how you can earn from your endeavor? Once you test it out on the market and confirm market interest, someone will support you.
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