The next generation of Black female business leaders
Octavia Goredema, founder of the Twenty Ten Club, writes exclusively for OBV about her tireless efforts to nurture the next generation of Black business women and her new mentoring project due to be launched in 2011.
Earlier this year I had an idea. I decided I was going to start a business networking group.
I had just moved back to London after a few years in America and I was struck by the number of Black female business owners I encountered at events and workshops.
It made me realise I wasn’t alone. It was fantastic to meet so many Black women who were running an array of enterprises, large and small, with a wealth of knowledge and experience.
As a young Black woman, with a new baby and a new business to launch, it was so inspiring to me. From that realisation, the Twenty Ten Club was born.
The Twenty Ten Club is a social enterprise for Black female entrepreneurs and each month we host networking events for our members. The Twenty Ten Club’s name derives from the fact I knew this year would be pivotal. A new decade, a new business, a new baby, new opportunities.
The first Twenty Ten Club event took place in March 2010 in Soho. Two months later the website launched with profiles of successful Black business women. Last month, the Twenty Ten Club won its first award during Global Entrepreneurship Week and I was named one of the UK’s Young Entrepreneurs of the Year at the Future 100 awards.
Running a business is hard work and it can also be lonely. Our monthly meet events provide a platform for our members to share updates, bounce around ideas, celebrate mutual successes and ultimately support and motivate one another.
I’m passionate about sharing the stories of Black female business role models. It’s an honour to have the opportunity to interview so many dynamic Black business women for profiles on our website. I find each and every story incredibly motivating and I sincerely hope the profiles we share will help to inspire the next generation of young Black women who will follow in their footsteps.
If you had told me, back when I was at school, that I’d run my own business one day I wouldn’t have believed it. Not in a million years. I had no concept of just how broad my options could be as long, as I broadened my own outlook.
My goal for next year is to launch a mentoring programme for teenage girls of colour to help support the development of their own personal aspirations.
When you start a business there are always hurdles and obstacles and so far it’s been the biggest learning curve of my life. However, I urge anyone who is toying with the idea of starting a business in the New Year to just do it. I promise, you won’t look back.
Founder of the Twenty Ten Club