Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Maria Antonietta Marino, Founder and Owner of Mudita Consultancy, located in Bassano del Grappa, Veneto, Italy.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Mudita Consultancy provides Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consulting services for global businesses, with a specialisation in cultural diversity as our area of expertise. We support businesses and individuals that are committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive workplace environment, with a particular focus on helping to bridge gaps between diverse cultures in global enterprises.

Tell us about yourself

I’m Maria, Mudita’s founder, interculturalist, and D&I consultant. Originally from Italy, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time living abroad and working in multicultural corporate environments, immersed in cultures different from my own: I speak three languages fluently, and I’ve learnt through personal “field experience” how challenging it can be to adapt to new ways of doing things. Such eye-opening, thought-provoking, exciting - and occasionally frustrating! - experiences have made me highly aware of the effects that cross-cultural miscommunication can have on both personal and professional relationships and provided me with an in-depth understanding of how global cultures operate in the world of business. I see diversity as an opportunity for personal growth, a chance to learn something new and approach someone new with positive curiosity and an open mind, as a concept that we should understand and embrace in order to live and work with a better awareness of our surroundings.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Being hired by multinational companies looking to educate their employees on the importance of cultural diversity shortly after Mudita's launch and being featured in Feedspot's "40 Best Consulting Blogs and Websites" list.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The realization that "if you build it, they will come" isn't necessarily true. You have to build it with product/market fit in mind, and promote it, promote it, promote it... it's hard to put yourself out there when nobody knows you, and you have yet to prove yourself.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Find your niche, and don't try to be everywhere doing everything for everybody: the more specific your product/service is, the better your chance of finding the right customers.
  2. This may sound obvious, but it doesn't hurt to reiterate it: act with integrity and put your customers first. You're building a brand whose reputation depends on the choices you make on a daily basis: never (ever) compromise on your core values.
  3. Mistakes do (and will) happen: at times, you have to accept that something is not working as expected and consider the possibility that you might have to discard an idea, kill a project, or interrupt a business relationship. Don't be afraid of challenges, and look at mistakes as learning opportunities that will help you improve.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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