Participating in Countdown to Launch was certainly something which was outside of my comfort zone. Being quite a quiet and reserved person, putting myself out there is often difficult for me, but on this occasion I am so glad I did it! I would not have participated in this programme if it wasn't for the one-to-one meetings available with the staff at the Centre for Student Entrepreneurship who encouraged me to attend Countdown to Launch.
Countdown to Launch took place over five days and each day had a set schedule consisting of workshops and inspirational guest speakers. The workshops provided us with the vital knowledge needed to run your own business, including dealing with finances, the legalities of a business, intellectual property and much more.
On the fifth and final day we were given the chance to pitch our business idea to a panel of professionals. The pitch lasted three minutes with five minutes for questions. This nerve wracking experience was hugely beneficial, and I was fortunate enough to be chosen as one of the seven winners. This programme and the professional and financial support I have been awarded with has allowed me to progress with my business idea with much more confidence.
I am currently working on getting my web-based business up and running. Countdown to Launch allowed for us to network and discover ways in which we can support each other with starting up our businesses. The participants had a plethora of talents and expertise. Oliver Norcott, a graphic designer who participated in the programme has agreed to create the logo for my web-based business. Furthermore, the website for Eduwise, an online parental support platform, is currently being created by my cousin Neil Harrison.
Once the logo is complete, my next steps will be marketing. This will be done through leaflets, direct marketing- going into schools to speak to head teachers or family liaison officers and I will also have business cards printed. In the future, I may also advertise in a local magazine. Whilst waiting for the logo and website to be developed, I am working on creating the worksheets and continuing to contact schools.
In September, I will start to work within the Llandaff campus in shared office space with the other winners of Countdown to Launch. This will allow me to actually get up and go to work rather than work from home which can be difficult with all of the distractions such as the TV, and numerous visits to the kitchen for food!
If the idea of having your own business is something you would be interested in, I would definitely urge you to visit the centre for entrepreneurship. They will guide you in the right direction and give you the support and confidence you need to take your idea further. Without their support, I would not have had the courage to set up by own business.
Blog post by Kathryn Roberts, Cardiff Met graduate and 2015 Countdown to Launch winner.