Today’s business market is more global than ever, with women making international boss moves from coast to coast. In a special series on women entrepreneurs of the diaspora, BlackEnterprise.com will bring you highlights on power females who have taken their passions and made them profitable — from North America to Europe to Africa and everywhere in between.
Yemisi Mokuolu is the founder of Hatch Events, a British events management company committed to promoting and profiling African arts across the UK.
Hatch Events productions include conferences, festivals, arts seasons, marketing stunts, launches, training programs and seminars.
BlackEnterprise.com spoke to the British entrepreneur about how the recession sparked her creativity and led to the start of her first venture.
BlackEnterprise.com: What drove you to start your own business?
Yemisi Mokuolu: Back in 2002, the advertising and experiential events sectors were going through a recession. I was employed at a direct marketing company and I discovered I had a natural talent for developing ideas, project managing and producing events.
I decided to take time out to expand my events management experience and pursue some personal projects. Eventually, my hobby took over and turned into a business.
What motivates you to keep pushing forward?
I’m extremely self motivated. I just love doing what I do so much. But, when things get hard, the people who really keep me going are my partner, mother, sister and friends.
Their belief in me and my ambitions for my business are powerful, and when I start to doubt they always know what to say to keep me motivated.
What has been the stand out highlight so far?
Giving myself the space to create and develop the Out of Africa platform which promotes and develops African arts events and programmes.
Through Out of Africa, Hatch Events produces performing arts events that capture the imagination. We transformed Carnaby Street in central London into an “Afrowonderland” over eight days and chaired a seminar on entrepreneurship in Africa at Oxford University.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
Be really clear on what you have to offer to the market place. What are you the best at?
Make sure you have a great network and contacts, because that’s what clients are really buying. They are buying who you know and not what you know.
Read more interviews with Black British female entrepreneurs at TwentyTenClub.com.
Octavia Goredema is founder of relocation resource Crash Course City and the Twenty Ten Club, an award-winning networking organization and online resource designed to connect, inspire and support black female entrepreneurs. Goredema has been awarded the title Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by The Queen for her services supporting black businesswomen.