If entrepreneurism is about ideas into action, my mother was the consummate entrepreneur – full of ideas which she enacted, and always actively encouraging and supporting her children to engage in trade.
While I feel I was destined to be an entrepreneur, it is one with a social dimension which at the time was the source of some discomfort for me. I began running a business with a social mission in the mid 1990s; well before social entrepreneurship became an economic system within the social sector.
I now know entrepreneurship is in my DNA. I have always enjoyed slowly and sometimes chaotically filling in that blank sheet of paper with new ideas, seeking and gaining support for them, securing the finance (from consultancy and training, commissions, grants and loans) and making them happen. I take calculated risks and can live with levels of uncertainty – maybe those are a couple of the things that set me out from the crowd.
Seven of my ten siblings are in business (which bucks a commonly held myth that Black Caribbean people don’t set up businesses!) and between us we have employed more than two hundred staff, contractors and associates.
Now that my daughter (Omolara) and several of my nieces and nephews also run their own businesses, it seems that this entrepreneurial flair is a deeply-held family affair.
YFA built an enviable reputation by providing high-quality learning and development programmes for staff and managers working in the public sector. A central part of YFA’s philosophy was to promote social inclusion, value diversity and create dynamic partnerships across and within organisations.
The Ubele Initiative is an African Diaspora led intergenerational social enterprise founded in 2014. Ubele supports a wide range of communities, community-based organisations and groups with their community assets (people and physical spaces), though social action, community enterprise development and next generation leadership initiatives.
Find out more about the organic evolution of The Ubele Initiative in Strategist section or visit the website.