Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Laura Yeo, the founder of Young Entrepreneurs of England, a platform to support young business makers and shakers in the United Kingdom.
Tell us all about your business...
Young Entrepreneurs of England (YEOEngland) is on a mission to uncover and give the UK’s young talent a voice by creating the go-to platform to support and work with young entrepreneurs. Full of enthusiasm and ready to take on the world, young entrepreneurs are the budding future leaders, and their entrepreneurial ventures should be taken seriously.
It’s no secret that being an entrepreneur is a difficult road to take, let alone being a young entrepreneur who is just starting out. It can seem as though the odds are stacked against you. You are learning and doing things for the first time, building credibility, growing your network, managing a very tight budget, all while doing your best to nurture and grow your business.
That’s where we step in. We know how hard it is to grow a business and we know that young entrepreneurs can use all the support they can get to set themselves up for success.
What's your background and motivation to grow as a business owner?
I'm a South African born entrepreneur, who founded the Young Entrepreneurs of England. My mission is to give the UK’s young talent a voice to be heard on an international level by providing the go-to platform to support and work with young entrepreneurs, small business owners and start-ups.
I believe young people are more entrepreneurial than ever. More and more young people are wanting to start and grow their own businesses and we as a society should be doing all we can to ensure that hidden potential is fully realised, and that any external factors – be it family network, experience and funds, do not stop them. We should be empowering young people to take that first step in becoming an entrepreneur and giving them the space to do it.
When I started my own business, I struggled to get my name out there and I couldn’t find a platform to go to that was made for young entrepreneurs where I could advertise my services to a larger audience, build my network and be a part of a like-minded community.
That is where the Young Entrepreneurs of England community was born. I wanted to create a place where other people could go to, to be supported and to support other young entrepreneurs and small businesses.
As an entrepreneur, what does success ultimately mean to you?
Success for YEOEngland is helping others develop into leaders who can change the world.
Success to me means making a difference to people while doing what I love and leaving the world a little bit better because I was here.
It is living with authenticity, passion and a sense of wonder. It means committing to only that which lights my fire, feeds my soul and challenges me to be my best.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a entrepreneur?
Stepping out of comfort zones, truly understanding who you are and setting boundaries for things that do not serve purpose for my business and my life.
Owning a business has a funny way of uncovering a lot of ‘weak’ points and bringing them to light and as a business owner, you have to address them head on.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run or grow a small business today?
1. Think clearly about your target market and your service/product offering, make sure the two are aligned and in sync with each other. When you feel a little lost or unsure about a decision to make, always refer back to ‘How does what I’m about to do help my customer and does it fit with what I’m offering?’
2. If you want to start a business, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons and understand that entrepreneurship is a journey not a race.
3. Find a mentor who you can bounce ideas off of and who can help you flesh out a potential idea you have, giving you constructive and helpful advice. (If you’re struggling to find one, reach out to us)
4. A fourth for a bonus! Don’t ever put aside your mental health for the sake of starting and owning a business. Take time to rest, speak openly about your struggles, feed your body good food and exercise.
If there was one thing you could do repeatedly to help grow your business, what would it be?
Network, network, network.
What are some of the things you put in place to maintain a healthy work/life balance and to keep it all together?
Take time to rest, speak openly about your struggles, feed your body good food and exercise.
Who are some of your favorite entrepreneurs and best business resources/books?
Whitney Wolfe Herd
Books to read:
• Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters
Book - Richard P. Rumelt
• How To Fail – Elizabeth Day
• Rich Dad, Poor Dad - Robert Kiyosaki
• The Courage To Be Disliked – Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga
• How To Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
• How Women Rise – Sally Helgesen and Martin Goldsmith
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
The statistics that drive what we do.
Throughout 2020 we spoke to the YEOEngland community about the struggles they face being a young entrepreneur.
We found that:
85% - Don't have an established network that could help them succeed.
72% - Feel that when entering the market many potential clients would rather use alternative solutions because young entrepreneurs are not 'experienced' enough.
70% - Battle to get their products and services seen and get themselves heard.
These statistics have helped build the base of what we do in order to provide a service that would best setup young entrepreneurs and start-ups for success.
Where can people find you online?
Website - www.yeoengland.com
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as an entrepreneur or business coach that you'd like to share then email firstname.lastname@example.org, we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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