I find beauty in seeing how an idea can see itself become a successful business start up given the right skill, drive and passion.
I believe I possess the passion and the drive to develop, manage and grow a business, however studying a postgraduate degree in MSc Innovation Management & Entrepreneurship will give me the skill and professional know-how in identifying, evaluating and exploiting business ideas and opportunities, developing growth strategies and barriers that could affect that growth as well as the ability to learn the role that innovation plays in the development of an organisation. Despite having the basic skill to manage a business from my undergraduate degree, this course will offer me valuable knowledge in business start ups and how to finance them, idea development and implementation as well the expertise needed to carry out general analysis of a business in order to establish how a particular product or service can be developed further. Through my personal experience as well as those around me, most young entrepreneurs come up with innovative business ideas but lack support, direction and funding and hence this course would give me the transferable skills needed to support such talent, starting with my community and expanding beyond boarders.
The theoretical and practical knowledge I gained in my previous studies has truly inspired my desire to acquire the qualities that are needed to be a successful entrepreneur. In my Business Venturing course, I was given the opportunity to work in a team to create, run and manage a business. This not only developed my ability to work as a team player, but also respect other people’s opinions, ideas, and beliefs considering we all came from different ethnic and religious groups. Using the business model canvas and the Kepner Tregoe model, we were able to analyse customer needs and offer a service that gave a variety of innovative solutions to their problem and was generally beneficial to them putting our business in second place at the end of the unit. In my business enterprise unit, I had the chance to work with a Portsmouth based company, Excell Metal Spinning in their international growth project into Denmark where extensive research was done in both micro and macro environments and in the end provided the business with various entry modes into the Danish market.
This unit also provided me the opportunity to attend countless workshops with reputable entrepreneurs like Proffesor Alan Barrell on topics including; funding start up enterprises, pitching and getting funded, creative thinking etc. which all gave me an appreciation of what it would be like to study entrepreneurship. In my Business Analysis and Decision making unit, we were placed in teams and asked to use a simulation game, SimVenture to run a computer systems business for 12 months starting with a £12,000 bank balance.
This simulation helped me see how specific business decisions e.g. location, marketing strategies, outsourcing employees etc.
affect general business operations. In the 12 months, we managed to move the location of the business from home to a commercial area, purchased a company car, hired 3 full time employees while outsourcing other services, ran PR campaigns, Television, Radio and News Paper adverts and came in as a market leader ending the financial year with a £36,000 bank balance. It was these units that inspired me to study entrepreneurship at a postgraduate level and improve on the skills that I have learnt through my Business `management degree as a way to gain meticulous training in entrepreneurship management and innovative ideas that are applicable to multiple platforms.Upon my undergraduate completion, I decided to take a gap year in order to get professional experience as well as gain insight on what areas of business interested me enough to study further. As I struggled to get work, I spent the year developing some of my business ideas and putting some through into implementation while consulting for SME’s locally. I eventually was offered a job as a junior business analyst for a Hardware Company. The main project I focused on was analysing multiple locations where the business could open a new department store.
This improved my research skills as I had to initially draw up a business plan that could be used to get investment, thoroughly evaluate the market potential of a particular area, draw up financial projections, develop marketing strategies, etc. Ensuring all these tasks were completed in the specified time frame not only developed my time management skills but also gave me the ability to work well under pressure and still produce outstanding work. However due to the company’s financial status, I was not confirmed following my three months probationary period.
Despite this I continued to work with several SME’s in finding innovative ways that they could improve their products/services, assisting them in drafting business plans to get funding, carrying out risk analysis and management plans for their current business, as well as coming up with creative business ideas for a completely new start up. Using my excellent problem solving skills, I found myself spending a great deal of time listening to family and friends to find quick and concise solutions to whatever problem they had. It was this experience upon many others that moulded this enthusiasm of giving people business ideas based on the individual/business strengths and opportunities as well as finding innovative ways in which they could grow and gain a greater market share while increasing profits.
It exposed me to numerous markets that have potential for development given the right skill and focus and I would love to exploit these markets and hence why I decided to gain the necessary skill.Studying the MSc Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship course will give me an opportunity to network and meet the right people that would direct me in the right direction while enjoying the concept of working with like minded people. Despite having an accounting unit in my undergraduate studies that focused on both financial and management accounting, taking this course will give me an insight in entrepreneurial accounting which will provide me the necessary information on venture capital, private equity, business angels, crowd funding and many other ways of funding business start ups. It would be an honour to be given the opportunity to study at one of the top universities in graduate start-ups while grasping opportunity to attend workshops with world-renowned entrepreneurs and possibly attend a week-long study at a foreign university.
Gaining such international exposure in the world of entrepreneurship will help broaden my ideas and thinking capacity and see how different economies and cultures operate business respectively. Having studied French in high school, I would be willing to take up the language on a professional level as Kingston University offers this course free of charge. I believe it will be a valuable asset to add to my CV, as I will gain a competitive edge. Being given the option to carry out a consultancy project instead of a dissertation will give me the opportunity to work with an established company and see how I can apply my knowledge to find solution to complex problems or introduce innovative ideas and growth strategies.
I believe studying at Kingston University will not only expose me to the academia related to entrepreneurship but also provide me with a possibility to exploit the possibility of undertaking a professional placement where I would be able to put all I will learn into practice and witness first hand how I would be able to use my postgraduate qualification to add value to an already existing companyI like to believe I was born with traits of an entrepreneur, always keen to explore ideas for a new venture from an early age. One of the characteristics of a good business idea is establishing a customer need and figuring out a way to satisfy that need. While in primary school, I always found it frustrating that most Barbie dolls owned just the piece of clothing they came in, which I thought was very impractical and hence figured out a way to handle it. I would find little pieces of fabric, cut them up and hand sew clothing items, which I would then sell to my friends, usually in exchange for their packed lunch. Growing up, my parents constantly enrolled me in skills development courses that would “help me get by”, and using these skills learnt, I have created small businesses ranging from Bridal Make up services, hat making, clothing retail, cleaning services, and business consulting. These experiences have made me resilient, self-motivated and developed my excellent interpersonal skills.
Throughout the time I’ve spent in Malawi post my graduation, I have encountered a number of graduates, high school dropouts and other youths that have outstanding business ideas but lack the knowledge, skill and resources to implement them into action. Studying this course will give me the ability to help such youths with idea generation, writing a substantial business plan, pitching to investors, evaluating funding options, establishing growth strategies that would best fit their business as well as provide them with support on how to manage innovation in order to improve growth and financial performance. One of my biggest obstacles in my business start ups was lack of support and funding, this course will not only be beneficial to me, but also give me the opportunity to use the knowledge gained to support young entrepreneurs that are or have been in the same position. I believe I not only have the skill and mind-set but also the ability and motivation required to study entrepreneurship further at a postgraduate level with all the focus, motivation and commitment required.