Selfie Year Student: My Top Tips for Launching a Successful Start Up

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.

A picture of Mwinza
Mwinza launched his business this September

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

Get feedback

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.

One response to “Selfie Year Student: My Top Tips for Launching a Successful Start Up

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.