Farah Mohammoud

Are you an Entrepreneur?

The word ‘entrepreneur’ describes “a person who organises and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk”.

What I find interesting about this word is that when I was in secondary school, I had always been entrepreneurial at heart without even realising it. What I mean by this is that when I was young, I had always been interested in finding creative ways to make money and be independent. I guess in some ways, I knew subconsciously that I would take the entrepreneurial path.

My entrepreneurial journey began with a very peculiar opportunity at my secondary school with a vending machine. You’re probably wondering what has a vending machine to do with this? Let me explain, you see the vending machines at my old secondary would only dispense soft drinks at a costly price and sometimes the vending machines would take your money without even dispensing any soft drinks. Of-course this was a problem and quite expensive for majority of the students (who had limited pocket money). I remember around this time, while I was doing some grocery shopping with my mother that I quickly realised that if I bought a bulk pack of soft drinks with my pocket money and sold it to my classmates at a slightly reduced price compared to the vending machines, I would cover my costs and have more pocket money to indulge my sweet tooth (yes, I had a sweet tooth and still do!). By the time I was in Year 11, I had become very interested in one of my GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) subjects, which was the business subject. This interest and fascination with this subject actually helped me to decide to enrol on a business course at college.

While I was at college, I started to work-part time and in an ironic way the subjects that I was being taught in my classes, such as Marketing and Human Resource Management helped me to be good at my job, especially when it came to promoting and selling merchandise to customers. Within a short period of time, I was promoted to a supervisor position. In addition to this, as part of my course, all the students had to create a new business within the college premises (in order to pass our course). By assessing the students’ needs at my college and conducting a small market research, my team and I identified a need for stationery supply. With these findings, my team and I successfully created a stationery store within the college premises. With the success of our stationery store, we competed against other colleges at the ‘Young Enterprise Scheme’ and won an award for the ‘Best Overall Company’.

Upon graduating from college, my entrepreneurial journey came to a momentary halt, as I had to focus on my university degree. It was until, when I graduated from University and when the recession hit, that my passion and drive was reawakened. It was during this time that I got exposed to social enterprises and social entrepreneurs who made a living by doing what they loved to do. I was all of sudden inspired and motivated to start my own business and I did!

Ironically one my favourite quotes is “Life is a school, where you learn how to remember what your soul already knows”. This quote encapsulates what I have learned so far, that you should appreciate the “good that comes with the bad and the bad that comes with good”. 

Reflecting back to my early days in school, I would never have predicted that this would be the road that I would take in order to find my passion. This is because, up to that point in my life, I had always thought that I would be someone’s employee, but in hindsight that path was not meant to be.

As you read this short story/article, ask yourself these two questions; what is your passion? and what are you doing now to pursue your passion?

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This was a really interesting read, Farah. It’s good to get an idea of your journey.

I especially liked the quote included: “Life is a school, where you learn how to remember what your soul already knows”.

We need to promote entrepreneurial spirit in young people and support them to recognise their dreams. We also need to help ourselves!

My passion is beauty in all its forms. I’m trying to make the world I live in an even more beautiful one.