Lifeline offers development and support to 16-25 year olds looking to start up their own business. After an initial training course some participants are selected for additional support, including access to a business mentor.
Here, we give you the chance to meet one of the young entrepreneurs involved in the project. You can also download a copy of the interview here: Lifeline Mentee Q&A: PauBuk Studios (368.35 kB). And visit the PauBuk Studios website at www.paubukstudios.com.
TELL ME A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
I’m 25, I’m at university, so I spend most of my time doing that – going to lectures and tutorials, writing essays, etc. To relax I like to go to the gym or catch up with friends.
WHAT WOULD YOUR FRIENDS SAY ARE YOUR BEST QUALITIES?
Polite, friendly, generous, and helpful.
WHAT’S YOUR BUSINESS IDEA?
I’m working with a partner on the business, so it has two halves. My half is creating multimedia services for people, for example, film production and editing. Customers have everything in one package – production and post production.
The other half is hair braiding, like for weddings. So you might get my partner Bukky to do your hair and then me to do a wedding video.
WHAT INTERESTS YOU MOST ABOUT STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
I want to be my own boss and do my own thing, I’d also like to employ other people later, but for now my motivation is to be my own boss.
There is an element of money – at the end of the day your business needs to make money – but that’s not the main thing, really I’m passionate about what I do. I’ve always loved working with video and film.
Also, I want to be able to make a difference in my age group, to show that you can be whatever you want to be and do whatever you want to do. I want to encourage other young people to do it too. If you have something you want to do, do it! Get the right people around you who will be supportive, and then go for it.
HOW DO YOU KEEP YOURSELF MOTIVATED?
Keep on telling yourself don’t give up. Every day things are moving and changing so we’ve got to keep up. And you have to get out there, physically – I can’t just wait for clients to come to me, I have to get out and talk to people and get my name out.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS’ TIME?
People knowing us and knowing what we do. We hope that PauBuk Studios is well known – not just nationally but internationally. We’d like to make that connection with Africa first. Also in 5 years’ time we’d like to be in a position to be employing other people.
WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY THINK OF YOUR PLANS?
They think it is wonderful.
My mother has always known I’m interested in cameras and filming, so she was pleased that I am doing it, no one was surprised.
That’s how you start off, with an interest, and then next thing you know you’re doing videos for family, and then friends, and then you can build from there.
Friends and family keep on being supportive. They help us in whatever way they can. Actually my mother came up with the name, and always, if she sees something new, like a video or something, she will show it to us, so we can keep improving what we do and learn and keep up.
IF YOU WERE GOING TO GIVE SOMEONE IN SCHOOL ADVICE ABOUT THE FUTURE WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Believe in yourself. Don’t let anyone limit you or put you in a box. Be yourself. Be positive.
Everyone is talented and unique and has different skills – find what your skill is, find out what you’re good at, then do it. Go for what you’re passionate about.
And don’t procrastinate – don’t leave it until tomorrow, do it today. If you have an idea or something you’re good at, start planning now. It will be hard, but get started and get people on board who can help you, like brap.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF LIFELINE SO FAR?
It is great. There should be more of this everywhere, not just in the West Midlands but nationally.
It helps young people, it gives them hope and you’ve got people on the programme who can help. The mentors give you the drive, and you get branding and a website. It is great.
We were thinking about a website for our business, and thinking ‘how do we get one?’, because as a small business we don’t have the money for it. But with Lifeline we have one now.
The business training is good too. One thing I’ll never forget from the training is the bit where you say what animal you are – it really made me understand who I am