This week, we have a guest blog post from 2nd year Plymouth University Business student Feyi Ogunyeye. Feyi has demonstrated a high standard of entrepreneurial spirit over the year and a half I have known him (through the BETA Enterprise Programme) in his dedication to his ideas, attendance at countless skills development workshops and willingness to step out of his comfort zone and compete in a wide range of business related competitions such as two Social Storm Hackathons, the Range Business Plan competition and the BETA Enterprise Pitches. He has shown himself to possess arguably the three most important traits of an entrepreneur; opportunity recognition, dedication and resilience.
If you have found this post in the Plymouth University Futures Centre guest blog page, alongside a brief description of me and a photo no doubt so amazing it will likely end up being my LinkedIn photo at some point, one of the initial thoughts that might have passed your mind is “How much can a random business student with next to no experience running his own business really know about being an Entrepreneur?”
The truth is, the only things in the world of business of note that I have achieved, have come from me making the best use of the events and opportunities on offer to me. My first (and admittedly not my best) invention came after taking part in the “Young Enterprise” scheme at the age of 16/17, of which I came up with an idea for a phone stand which you can both adjust the height of so that it fits the size of your phone, and also fold completely flat for storage purposes.
Feyi’s first phone stand designed aged 17.
I am probably the biggest believer out there of the phrase “You never know until you try” because it translates so well into different areas of my and I’m sure other peoples lives. I had no real idea of what exactly I wanted to do in life before I entered “Young Enterprise” at age 16, but because I did, and made the full use of that opportunity, and the many opportunities that I have been very fortunate to have received through BETA Enterprise and Plymouth University, it has been since that point that I found out so much more about myself and the things I’m passionate about such as creating new products and developing my skillset in order to become a better Entrepreneur and Inventive mind in the future.
Now personally I think (and this may be completely opposite to the truth) that the reason why so many young people/people in general out there, end up not achieving all that they can in different areas is because they’re anxious about what will happen and what other people think once they begin to start stepping out from the crowd they’re usually a part of/want to be a part of. I for one can definitely testify to backing away from an area or opportunity that I thought might be interesting, especially between the ages of 8-16.
However it wasn’t until I started making the constant effort to take on these things regardless, that I started becoming my own person and started liking myself more as a person since making that effort. Now I’m not going to lie, I did spend a fair amount of my time between the ages of 15/16-18 getting odd looks and comments from people at school who saw me bringing solar panels and other random parts into school, then taking random looking contraptions out of school.
To be honest I’m sure people thought I was a really odd individual in those times, but it has been through those times that I have gained the confidence to do all of the biggest things I have achieved in my life so far, from pitching my most recent product/ business idea to a billionaire and hearing him say that he really likes it, or just simply benefiting from using a product I’ve made from scratch in my day to day life.
Finally, I’m not saying that people should take up any opportunity regardless of if it really doesn’t interest them, or isn’t realistically feasible, or is simply the wrong thing to do. I just think the world would be filled with so much less depressingly untapped potential, if when people find out about something that they think might interest them, but aren’t sure whether to go through with for certain reasons such as what other people would think, they have a real good think about that opportunity, and then try it out wholeheartedly anyways.
After successfully pitching for development funding from the BETA Enterprise panel in May 2015, Feyi is now a peer mentor on the BETA Enterprise programme.