Monday – November 17
The bumpy flight was no match for what was happening in my tummy, butterflies were cavorting with birds and I was almost nauseous with excitement.
There’s no rest (or shower time) for the entrepreneur, our first appointment was to meet with Catherine Lecavalier, let me just put it out there that every entrepreneur needs a Catherine Lecavalier in their lives.
She’s the most organized human being I’ve ever met and showed us a customised schedule that literally made me feel like the president. Every hour was accounted for, every route planned out perfectly, even keeping in mind rush hour human traffic and tube delays.
After a much needed shower and an attemped snooze to try and make up for lost sleep on the plane, we set off with Catherine to South Africa House on the amazing Trafalgar Square, here we met with Mrs Thobile Mazibuko and her awesome staff.
I think, for me, what’s been incredible is the amount of recognition we’ve been receiving and acknowledgement of what we’re trying to acheive and that validation is great!
We were promised support and assistance and advice from the high commissioner and left feeling pretty elated and high.
It was 5pm by the time we left but the sky was already dark and the wind was bitingly cold.
Our first GEW workshop was a debate panel discussion at the Institute of Directors, essentially, it was a panel discussion on the issues UK entrepreneurs face.
Some of the issues they face share a commonality with us- access to finance, scalability, access to networks.
What I didn’t agree on was the fact that some entrepreneurs in the panel suggested that they would not hire graduates without experience, they said they’d rather hire people with experience of some sort- the danger of that is a universal one, you’d end up with a ton of unemployable graduates with irrelevant experience (does waitressing even count?)
I think a long term solution could be to introduce entrepreneurship as a component to basic education and to understand that not everyone will make it to, or through university and that in itself is ok.
Can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds!