Always follow your heart


Today, more and more young people in Britain are choosing to pursue a career as an entrepreneur rather than take the conventional route of finding a job in an established company.

Given the dearth of roles for young people, this is to be encouraged – it’s crucial that more young people are motivated to make it happen and follow their entrepreneurial dreams.

I took my own advice and started my natural skin care business, Emi & Ben, in 2009 and I’ve never looked back.

My dream was always to develop a natural skin care range and since founding Emi & Ben I have been wholly responsible for all aspects of the business. The list of important tasks grows on a daily basis and in the early days it seemed there were simply not enough hours in the day to complete the necessary actions.

As an entrepreneur, it has become clear to me that in order to be successful in business I needed to be flexible and learn how to duck and weave with my day-to-day work. Another rule of thumb I work by is to focus on tasks that follow the money rather than following strict processes. As someone who considers themselves to be quite organised, not following a strict process is at times extremely hard.

As businesses grow, the natural course is for the workforce to expand. Business owners need to build a passionate team around them who will excel in the areas of responsibility handed to them.

However, time and again entrepreneurs struggle with delegating to staff and relinquishing responsibility for fear of the tasks not being completed properly. Having faith and confidence in my team is to me as important as having faith and confidence in myself and my business. A strong, reliable and passionate team turns a mediocre company into a winning brand.

Sometimes overlooked, branding is a pivotal part of any business, which is directly linked to reputation. A reputable brand can become the life-blood of a business, which is why entrepreneurs often invest heavily in their company’s image. They should aim to stand out from the crowd by asserting their voice in a positive way.

They should become infectious so people can’t help but say good things about them and their business. There’s no better way to publicise a product or service than through recommendations and word of mouth.

Entrepreneurship is an exhilarating career choice and one I would strongly recommend to young people. Enterprise is a hot topic in the current climate and it’s important that it is promoted as a plausible route to today’s youth at an early stage. It can be a scary path for young people starting out and that’s why it’s important that help and advice is accessible to all.

Government and pioneers within the UK business community need to create opportunities to ensure that start-up businesses have the best chance of success. Without this a lot of untapped talent will be wasted, with future business leaders missing their piece of the action. I have been lucky enough to have been involved in the Virgin Media Pioneers Control Shift campaign, which is tapping into the views of young entrepreneurs to create a powerful call to action for Government and business. Let’s see if they listen!

To all those budding entrepreneurs, I would say, be confident and courageous. Take that seed of an idea and turn it into a business. Because there is nothing worse than not giving it a go and there is nothing more satisfying than being the master of your own destiny.

Ronke Ige is a Virgin Media Pioneer, and founder of Emi & Ben. For more information, videos and advice for SMEs, visit

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Austen Lloyd: Law Costs HOD - Southampton

£50000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: An outstanding new...

SThree: Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £21000 per annum + uncapped commission: SThree: As a graduate you are...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn