As part of our work to help Social Enterprises, we're really proud to announce our voluntary partnership with Education Distributed Universally (EDU!!). It’s great to see young people kick-starting their entrepreneurial journey whilst striving to make a difference, so we thought it would be nice to have a little sit down with the founders, Rish and Derin, to see how they started their journey!
So, tell us a little bit about yourselves and your journey!
Hi, so my name is Rish! I was a student at UCL doing Mathematics with Economics and then jumped into the world of tech for my full time job, having never coded before! I can say it was definitely a challenge with many ups and downs along the way, but overall really rewarding! I’ve always loved teaching, and love to tutor on the side. I’ve been doing so since I was 16 - my Mum was actually a Maths teacher so that’s probably where I get it from! I’m also a huge football fan, but unfortunately….. I support Arsenal :(
Hey, I’m Derin! I moved to this country at the age of 4, not knowing a word of English. I was always drawn to numbers as I saw it as a common language I felt comfortable communicating with, so this definitely shaped my future. I studied Economics at UCL and took part in a lot of finance internships from the age of 16 which helped prepare me to excel in my career to this point.
Cool, that sounds awesome! So, why did you both decide to create your own business and why EDU, what's the story?
I’ve done a whole bunch of little hustles, from selling lemonade at 6 to trading online currency at 13! I’ve always felt running a business is something I wanted to try and it's been a hell of an experience since we started! You’re a lot more in control and always have a goal to work towards which definitely appealed to me! EDU was born out of necessity for help. Whilst studying at UCL, it was really difficult to reach out to lecturers and get the help I needed. I was definitely struggling a lot and almost dropped out. Since graduating we wanted to find a way to help other students in the same position as we found ourselves and we felt the best way to do that was by connecting students with other students, who could pass on their knowledge and skills in a mentor/ tutor role.
Yeah I’d definitely agree, EDU grew out of a joint need for help between Rish and myself. It is not uncommon that students struggle to adapt to the change in the teaching structure when transitioning from school to university. I was no different and as an Economics student at UCL struggling to get the help or guidance I needed from my lecturers I felt that I couldn’t have been alone in this and that there needed to be a solution. Rish shared this passion and struggle with me and together we embarked on this journey to help other students connect with their peers!
That sounds amazing! I think we can all agree, especially after the pandemic, that there definitely needs to be more support out there for university students, so it sounds exciting! Being new to this entrepreneurial journey, what are some of the challenges you’ve overcome, or lessons you’ve learned so far!
Without a doubt I’d say my biggest challenge has been managing my time, especially whilst balancing a full time engineering job. Early morning wake ups have become a staple of my routine and I would definitely encourage others to give it a go! It’s a really nice feeling knowing it's still early in the day but you’ve already accomplished a bunch of your goals.
I think for me it’d be the importance of being disciplined. Starting this journey, I definitely had to make choices and a few sacrifices which can sometimes feel like I'm spread thin across all my commitments - but I think the most important thing is to remain focussed on your long-term goals and ambitions to stay motivated to keep grinding!
Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. Managing your time can be difficult but staying organised is definitely key. Any other advice you’d give to other young people interested in starting their entrepreneurial journeys?
The best piece of advice I can give is just get started. Don’t wait for a quiet moment in your life because it won’t ever come! The moment you get started is when you can begin to learn and find out how to continuously keep improving your own skills. There is genuinely no better time than the present.
Yes, I absolutely agree with Rish! I’d also say to set your objectives very clearly and revisit them on a regular basis to make sure you’re holding yourself accountable. Because you’re not answering to a manager or anyone above you, it can be harder to remain focussed. I find that it’s always key to remember your ‘WHY’ - this not only grounds you during tough times but also keeps your passion alive as you work on building your business!