Careers Evening: Starting Your Own Business

Careers Evening: Starting Your Own Business

On Tuesday we were delighted to welcome five fantastic speakers to our entrepreneurship careers evening, all of whom offered some very diverse ideas and experiences. Andy Prickett (OC 2003) founder of White Tent Events , a local wedding and event marquee hire company, was brave enough to highlight how naïve he was when he first started the business and how, with hindsight, better preparation and research into the size of his product may have resulted in a less stressful beginning! Elliot Grant, also an OC, talked us through his journey to setting up his travel app company The Hoof. His particular route included two unsuccessful ventures which, rather than putting him off, taught him some valuable lessons. Vet on the Hill owner Ian Mathers, talked us through the huge financial commitment setting up an independent veterinary practice requires and how finding a property to suit his very specific needs, in a location where people would be prepared to travel to, involved much research – something his vet science degree didn’t teach him. Seb Schyberg (OC 2009) talked about how important making contacts and networking can be. He also talked through his concerns about how being too young and inexperienced might have an impact on his success. He is often confronted with the question “Where is your boss” when dealing with CEOs and, whilst a little un-nerving, relishes the opportunity to prove his worth! Our final guest, Jimmy Scott, co-founder of Koy Clothing talked about finding a niche market and making sure you surround yourself with people with different strengths in order to be successful. He also talked about how he believes in the ethics behind his company, who through designing clothing using authentic Kenyan fabrics and involving the Kenyan people in their business, are able to give back to the tribes who inspired their products through the funding of their communities.

The pupil and parent audience, asked some poignant and thought-provoking questions and we were delighted to hear that, despite all the stress associated with running your own company, none of our speakers felt they would want to return to working for an organisation that wasn’t theirs! That despite never being off duty, not having regular holidays, pensions or healthcare and sometimes finding working for yourself a little isolated, they would all do it again.

Mrs Clare Brown

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