Mwinza Mpoha is an International Business Student. He is from Zambia and took his course with a ‘Selfie Year’ (Self Employed Year in Industry) that he began in September to launch a subscription-based grocery delivery service that he describes as the ‘Netflix’ for food and drink.
“I found out when applying for my course that I could launch my own venture, as a Selfie Year – Self Employed Year in Industry. It seemed really unique to receive support and guidance to run my own venture as part of my degree.
In my first year, there was an assignment which involved developing a business. I’ve always had an interest in nutrition and the idea of a meal subscription service, based on a consumers very specific dietary requirements came to me. After sharing it with friends, I got excellent feedback and took it took ASPIRE and the in-house entrepreneurs who felt it had potential.
I am currently researching and planning, thinking about pricing and my web proposition with assistance from Kent’s entrepreneurs in residence virtually, as I am living back in Africa to complete the year. I see the business like a personal chef and nutritionist who preps meals fully and delivers to you based on your specific requirements – body type, age, your goals and the like. You pay once a month and get everything you need including all the chopping and preparing. I feel I have a great unique USP, particularly in my home country of Zambia, where there is little competition.
There is a long road ahead, but I am relishing this stage and really excited for the future. I’d like to offer up support and advice to others considering a Selfie Year or launching their own business and doing their own thing.
Mwinza’s Top Tips for Successful Start Up
Having a good idea isn’t enough when you start a business, if no one actually wants or needs what you are producing. One of the biggest lessons I learned was to take a step back from my own enthusiasm for an idea and ask around to see if others share it!
Solve a problem
A good business solves a pressing issue. My problem was that many people are strapped for time to prepare a healthy meal and obesity or chronic health issues relating to diet are a big deal.
Planning is winning
Within a few weeks I was feeling really overwhelmed. Jon, the entrepreneur in residence at Kent gave me some useful tips of just kind of writing everything down, just pouring it onto a page and splitting it into small taskers to deal with later. It really worked. Questions like: What is the best approach? What is the best strategy to now let this thing happen? Should I do this, or should I do that? Never underestimate the time you need to take to plan even if you’re really eager to get started.
Take the rough with the smooth
I think just venturing out on my own was an impressive step, so I try not to chastise myself if things go wrong. Everything is a learning curve and the skills I am gaining along the way are great, whatever the outcome.”
A Selfie (or Self-Employed Placement) is a Year in Industry option which offers Stage 3 students the opportunity to run their own business. See our ASPIRE page for more information.