This week I had the chance to ask Federico Ciccone some questions about his new start up and his experience; his business aim is to harness the social potential of entrepreneurship on a global scale.
What country are you from originally? Why did you choose London?
I am originally from Italy. I came to study in London where my business partner and the rest of the team currently live. On top of that, London is a great strategic location for our business.
Which were the biggest challenges you faced when moving to the UK and how did you overcome them?
As a student, I was lucky enough to be financially supported by my family. The hardest challenge I had to overcome is the high level of competition here. When moving to London you find out that there is plenty of people that are better than you at what you do. Despite this represents a great obstacle, it is also what inspires many people to improve and challenge themselves.
What gave you the inspiration and strength to start your own business enterprise?
It all started as an academic interest, but then grew to be a passion. My business partner has a background in development, and therefore focuses a lot on helping businesses in developing countries. That, combined with my interest for the realities of small and medium businesses is what motivated us to work on a project regarding start ups.
What has been your biggest entrepreneurial achievement so far?
At the moment we are a very small start up, but I believe our biggest achievement stands in our contacts. People from all over the world, US, Africa, India appreciate our business and commit to it.
What are your 3 tips to those thinking of starting a business in your industry?
Do what you like: because those running start ups work in fields they are interested in. Especially for social enterprises, they do something that is important for the community or have a social aim that could be useful for other people.
Be prepared: There are many small businesses and you need to know your industry. Find someone who knows about your sector, a mentor who could help you develop and grow your business.
Networking: If you are running a business or thinking about doing so, you need to go to events, meet ups and take every chance to talk to people. Every person you talk to could mean new business opportunities: you never know when or who you are going to meet.