The light above the door is blinking an ascending succession of numbers as the elevator crawls closer to your level. Your journey gets momentarily interrupted for a fellow traveller, then up you go. Her business attire, slightly creased and crookedly buttoned, speaks volumes about her busy life. Her head is buried in a pile of documents as the elevator slides further up.
You recognize her instantly. She is that businesswoman whom you read about in the papers just the other day. You decide you should go for it. You've practiced your pitch a thousand times before. A deep breathe. Ready to jump in?
Alright, now let's rewind. That's the dream, right? Meeting the right person at the right time and the right place and then delivering that perfect business pitch. The problem is these opportunities only come once in a while if you are lucky. Here's a fix to that, a new game in town that allows you to do just that. It's called the Sirius Programme. And it's for entrepreneurs like me who want to be noticed.
Back in September, I wrote a piece about Entrepreneurs' Festival in Manchester. The festival was a magnet for international talent and a three-day entrepreneurial extravaganza. Ever since the event, my personal level of motivation and grit has skyrocketed in my efforts to start up a business in the UK. Why is that? It was through the festival that I came to know and appreciate the vast amount of support available from many amazing and inspirational people out there who are willing to help newcomers like me. In the end, the realm of possibility astounds us all.
The Sirius Programme, organized by UK Trade & Investment, is essentially a very exciting competition for final-year university students and recent graduates with entrepreneurial ambitions. In my case, I have a business idea for creating personalized premium products using 3d printing technology and I have teamed up with a few other individuals in pursuing this venture.
The Entrepreneurs' festival was an excellent training ground for the Sirius Programme's application process. The online application revolves around several questions and a two-minute video pitch about the applicant's business. At the core, it all boils down to five key criteria; my passion and my resolve are the first steps. The technical knowledge and skills of my team and I are also key to a successful start-up. Just as important, it is to prove that my business is feasible and has market potential. Finally, the aim of Sirius is to boost British business and so is my responsibility to demonstrate my commitment to the UK and its economy as the home of my business.
I have lived in this country as a student for more than four years now. I have always been treated well and felt welcome and now I'd like to give back to the society. As entrepreneurs, we walk and talk, we breathe and live in the pursuit of changing the world around us for the better. For me and others like me, Sirius provides those early-stage resources that are imperative for the success of this journey; mentorship and support, visa, contacts, and even living expenses.
I have spent my days and even some of my nights, developing my business idea alongside my business partners. We have carried out market research, developed a website, researched methods and technologies, and now, I am about to launch a competition of my own which is to act as a precursor to the business. Details about the competition, aptly named, Shape Your World will be released in my next piece here.
Find out more about the Sirius Programme here: http://www.siriusprogramme.com/