Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Keyrane Kouame, Owner of Sibko, located in Cambridge, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Sibko is a natural online shop that focuses on selling all-natural things that are organic, sustainable, and artisanal. My team and I look at what other countries around the world have that my target customer might like or enjoy, which makes Sibko an importation business.
Some Sibko products include Organic & Sustainable Coffee Powder, Organic & Sustainable Chocolate Powder, Organic Ripe Plantain Strips, Organic Green Plantain Strips, and Organic Cassava(Yuca) Strips, all from Costa Rica.
New launching products include (artisanal products), handmade outing bags with beads, jewelry made with traditional fabric, and jewelry made with traditional beads, all from Cote D' Ivoire (located in West Africa). My customers are everyone who is looking to live more naturally, consuming organically and sustainably made products and using artisanal products.
Tell us about yourself
I started this business when I was in high school, in grade 11, and I am currently in my first year of university, majoring in Global Business and Digital Arts. I have always enjoyed learning about business, and throughout high school, I was in Junior Achievement (a non-profit organization where teenagers get to build a company, develop a product or service and sell it). In this organization, I held the role of VP of Marketing, HR, and president. That experience made me realize that I loved the idea of owning a business and the process involved in building one.
So with my father's help, I have built Sibko, focusing on something that I am passionate about, which is living simply and naturally. Though it's not always easy being the sole owner of this business and a student, what motivates me to continue is the happiness my customer feel when they consume or use my products, as well as the support from my family and community.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment has been successfully rebranding my business from Ibredcoshop to Sibko. My next biggest accomplishment, which happened recently, is to have my products sold in another store at my university.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
In my case, the hardest thing that comes with being a business owner is balancing my business with my undergraduate courses. Especially because I manage all aspects of the business alone, it can be very challenging to keep up with advertising and connect with my community and complete all my school assignments and projects.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Build a structure. Take the time to envision your business from all aspects before starting to act on your ideas.
- Be persistent and don't give up. When something doesn't work, try a different way until it does. If you don't know how to do something, look for knowledge instead of simply accepting the fact.
- Constantly look for opportunities, even the smallest. It's typical to wait for opportunities to appear but to be successful, you have to go out of your way and zone of comfort to find the opportunities yourself.
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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