The Business Start-Up Journey (BSUJ) is a step-by-step extra-curricular programme designed to encourage, nurture and support the development of student business start-ups. Run by Kent Business School, but open to all University of Kent students, this is a philanthropically funded programme committed to developing the next generation of entrepreneurs. Ebenezer Kuoao is a computing student who participated in BSUJ last year. His start-up business Jobbfeed is an online graduate jobs platform which has benefitted from BSUJ guidance.
My name is Ebenezer Kouao, I am currently in my second year studying Computer Systems Engineering. I am a first generation British born Ghanaian from London.
Where did you first hear about The Business Start-Up Journey?
I heard of the Business Start-Up Journey towards the end of the year, via an email promoted by the School of Engineering and Digital Arts department officer. Later, I saw posters around campus.
What is your business concept?
My Business concept is JobbFeed.
JobbFeed is a online job graduate platform, with a targeted niche at students in the engineering and computer sciences looking for graduate jobs and internships.
The idea came to me during the summer of 2015. Before coming to the University of Kent , I considered getting a summer job. However, I found the application process on some websites, such as Indeed, to be extremely tedious, time-consuming and inefficient.
- 1-click apply
- Live-view progress on applications
- View jobs in your local mile radius
- Inbuilt email system
It is a useful tool to use as all application handling, sorting and appointment booking are done within the same site.
Why did you take part in the Business Start-Up Journey?
I chose to take part in the Business Start-Up Journey as I wanted to learn what it really takes to start-up a business. My passion is to one day build a technology company solving problems in today’s world. The Business Start-Up Journey was the perfect opportunity to learn the skills and build a foundation of knowledge, also to have an idea of what it takes to run a business. Not just learning the theory of running a business, but the application of how you’re going to achieve that. I also wanted to learn from other students, work, and share an experience together, at times poking holes in business plans is a constructive way of strengthening it.
What was the most enjoyable part of the Business Start-Up Journey?
This is quite hard to choose because every stage was an enjoyable learning curve of its own, but I’ll have to go with the mentoring sessions. I had a fantastic opportunity to meet Ian Odgers (partner and adviser of OdgersBerndtson).
With some similarities to JobbFeed, Odgers Berndtson focuses on finding executive roles with the highest calibre of people for major companies. Apart from Ian mentoring me and giving me invaluable life lessons from his own experience. What I learnt the most is marketing, and the fact that it’s an art you really need to master. Just like you would for painting or dancing. What stuck at the most was this golden advice on marketing: “Know your Customers!” You need to have a vision of your ideal customer, who are they? What do they want? How can your product satisfy their needs? Initially, I was thinking too broadly, with no real target audience in mind, and this is where I learnt about creating a niche and how I can tailor this to my advantage, by creating a core audience.
Would you recommend the Business Start-Up Journey?
I would absolutely recommend the BSUJ, there’s no question about that. It is truly a journey and a timeless experience. You will meet a wide range of people from different course backgrounds, and you will make friends with others. These skills learnt can be applied to everyday life, pitching your product helps your public speaking skills, creating a business plan would help you with your organization skills in life and studies, and learning the business world helps you in the understanding of how a company is run. If you’re on the fence; just join! You don’t know what is within you until you try. The worst case scenario is that you’ll learn what it takes to launch a start-up, improve communication skills and make friends in the process. So what’s to lose?
How has the Business Start-Up Journey helped with your business?
The BSUJ has helped me on my current business, in terms of how I’ve applied the knowledge learnt. I am currently growing an online business which is on a good projection to “success”, I intend to build as a form of passive income through the years. I attribute the success so far to the Business Start-Up Journey. From developing inner skills such as self-discipline, motivation and communications, to business skills such as marketing, creating a business model and financials these skills are here to stay.The road doesn’t necessarily stop at the Business Start-Up Journey; it is a road an entrepreneur will be on for a lifetime. The skills you will learn are here to stay.
Many thanks to Ebenezer for sharing his experience. Register for the Business Start-Up day in November.
My name is Ebenezer Kouao, I am 19 and in my second year studying Computer Systems Engineering at the University of Kent. I am an avid programmer and I have a passion for technology and entrepreneurship. I aspire to start my own company, providing technology solutions including building microprocessors and artificial intelligence products.
Technology has always been a pathway to improving quality of life, and I feel compelled to explore and develop this field.