24 year old young entrepreneur, Cyril Ofori Nelson, is the co-founder of production company, so|fraiche!. He decided to set up his own company with film producer Gerald Sagoe after he finished University and couldn’t find an ideal job in the highly competitive media industry.
Cyril says “I couldn’t find a job so I made my own”. The work of so|fraiche! has not gone unnoticed and they are currently working with Business Link & Channel 4 to increase & promote entrepreneurship.
If you’re a young entrepreneur yourself, or are thinking of starting your own business, read on for a Q&A with Cyril. He has some great advice for people trying to be their own boss successfully.
Describe yourself in 5 words
On this thing most days!
What are you passionate about?
The Business world, progressive conversation, Instagram, city life, NYC, street art, nice shoes, Ghana and London in no particular order!
Tell us about your company, so|fraiche!
We are a visual & editorial company providing services to companies, projects & individuals from corporate videos to articles for publication.
I met up with film producer Gerald Sagoe in October 2011 and we wanted to form a media outlet that promoted young professionals from around the world in a positive light. We both had media links so decided to film interesting people from London then Europe, now we are heading to America; our scope is constantly increasing!
How did you start? How did it all begin?
We had a few cameras and were surrounded by various creatives so we decided to create our first promo video which generated a lot of positive feedback. From that we started to interview various creatives and inspirational people from Levi Roots to Mayor of London candidate Siobhan Benita.
Did you have a lot of support? How did you raise finances to set up your company?
O2 Think Big gave us a lot of support and even became our media partners which gave us the confidence for us to build our company so we are very grateful to them for helping us grow.
We approached other funding companies who did not feel that our company helped enough people in the community which was puzzling. So to generate income & grow we set up So Fraiche Media Ltd, which provides media content to companies from various industries & we have already worked with Nike, Bloomberg, Channel 4 & Digital Dumbo.
What or who inspired, or continually inspires you?
My team members and the people we feature. My team are amazing individuals who come from various backgrounds and they continually share their knowledge and skills so it’s great when we all meet up. Some of the creatives and innovators are so talented and hard working you can’t help but also be inspired by them.
What obstacles have you encountered and tell us how you overcame them?
When we first started looking for clients it was challenging because we didn’t have a big track record, so it was hard convincing them that we were the real deal. However as our portfolio increased and clients were happy with our services they also recommend their friends to So Fraiche Media & sofraiche!
How would you encourage another young person to get started with their business idea? Any key advice?
I would say just be proactive, I have a lot of friends who come to me saying they have been thinking about setting up a business/ project/ venture for months and they have been working on their business plan for X amount of time. I just tell them “why haven’t you started the actual business yet”?
Most of them say because they are scared of failure or they want to finish their business plan first. My response is “you are going to make a few mistakes when starting any business the trick is to learn from those mistakes and not do it again”.
My other piece of advice is to always plan ahead! You plan to fail if you fail to plan.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in your journey?
From Sam Conniff at Livity funny enough! He said:
“when looking to pitch or sell something to someone always highlight the features and benefits of your idea”.
What’s the biggest achievement you’ve had to date?
Our constant growth is something that impresses us. I remember talking about so|fraiche! but actually executing ideas into visuals is something completely different. I think working with Channel 4 is something that we are excited about as the scope for what we are doing is epic.
Where do you see yourself and your company in 5 years?
I want our company to be valued at £100,000,000 & we are already planning that. I will also want to keep working with creatives & young professionals on new business ideas globally.
What’s the most unusual/funniest thing that’s happened to you in your business journey? Any embarrassing moments?
We were filming in Berlin for Telefornica & I decided to take our film crew out for dinner. Whilst we were eating two men started fight whilst everyone continued to eat their dinner. We were thinking is this normal? Shouldn’t someone stop this? After about 5 minutes of fighting I think they were tired then just walked away!
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I play too much Fifa 13 at my friends house, thank God I don’t have a PS3!
What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit.
A sentiment shared by many from famous American literary genius, John Updike.
In this busy world we live in, you might be in need of some breathing room of your own. Somewhere to explore your creativity or to set your passions free. Sometimes, all it takes is a little space, for us to see things clearly and to realise our true potential.
somewhereto_ has launched Platform 7, an exhibition featuring seven emerging UK artists and seven young curators, all under 25. The exhibition launched in Edinburgh 18th October with a packed preview event.
For most of the artists and curators this is their first experience of curating or exhibiting outside of college shows. The collection features works by Sarah Boulton, Hannah Topalian, Martina Martin, Yuan Zhang, Rosie Shepley, Saule Zukaityte and Hannah Reilly.
The exhibition investigates the idea of having a platform in order to react to the theatrical nature of the showcase. The curators; Nella Aarne, Sean Bell, Jemma Craig, Gordon Douglas, Yasemin Hacioglu, Lizzie Hudson and Rachael Smith, were pulled together from a UK-wide callout by somewhereto_ delivery partners Hot Tap Media.
They were mentored by Glasgow curator Emma Brasó to help create the group exhibition.
Platform 7 is at Whitespace Gallery, 11 Gayfield Square Edinburgh, until 25th October, and will then tour Liverpool and Manchester alongside a Showcase collection by partners The Skinny magazine.
It’s free to attend, and you can find more information on Facebook
Over the course of two days in mid-October, Youth Enterprise Live (YEL) came to town; a new concept exhibition that looks to let young people know about the organisations, projects and ideas that fill those often grey areas between education and employment. The idea was that young people would leave YEL with a better sense of the support networks available to them as they move into the potentially perilous world of earning money and supporting themselves.
somewhereto_ is all about providing a platform for young people to get their projects moving, giving them space to develop stuff they love. The hope is that this gives them the chance to sidestep those tricky times with nothing to do and nowhere to go, populating those days with meaningful stuff driven by them. YEL was therefore a good opportunity for us to get the word out to a new audience about somewhereto_. Regional coordinators, brand ambassadors, Livity family members and somewhereto_ volunteers all did their bit to shout about the project via our stand.
But what really set us apart at YEL was our stage presence. Literally. We welcomed performers from across the UK to do their thing on stage; this was somewhereto_ in action and as a result of providing something different, our impact and reach within an exhibition hall context was palpable. We had conscious rap from Croydon, manga art from Halifax, a crooner from the Wirral, body-popping from Blackburn and knitted installations from Manchester. And these were just the organised performers. Thanks to our pragmatic volunteer stage programmers we also hosted a mini talent show on our stage, compared by some bright young urban voices who saw somewhereto_ take a chance, and took it.
Our reach at YEL didn’t stop at young people – other exhibitors saw the opportunity to shout about their projects from our stage and we were happy to oblige, giving spotlight to Spirit of London Awards, Battlefront, the St. John’s Ambulance and Smarta. It was great to share the space with YEL’s youth media partners LIVE magazine too. Led by Celeste, LIVE’s street team bought a real sense of purpose to the area and were instrumental in getting young people who wouldn’t normally have done so to perform on our stage. This meant that our space was always bustling, always busy - somewhereto_ see great performances from our talented young people.
If you want a space to do what you love, get in touch with now!
On September 26th, somewhereto_ hosted an event called ‘spaced_’ inviting 50 young people to kick-start their entrepreneurial careers through finding the perfect workspace.
Set on the 13th floor of One Stratford Place, the young people got to experience stunning sprawling views of London Town while meeting an amazing panel of established entrepreneurs who offered advice and gave feedback throughout the day. The panel included ‘The Apprentice’ winner, Tim Campbell, Ning Li (founder of MADE.com), Poppy Dinsey (founder of What I Wore Today), Diri Sabesan (founder of Creative Nerds) and Mikey from urban brand Trapstar (worn by the likes of Rihanna and Tinie Tempah.
There was also a ‘Speed Space Matchmaking’ session where the young entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas to various space-holders in the hope to be matched to the perfect space for them to set up or grow their companies.
Check out the video above for a full overview of the day!
For advice on business startups from MADE.com’s founder Ning Li, click HERE