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Tooting Young Entrepreneurs Visit Uber UK!

Tooting Young Entrepreneurs Visit Uber UK!

2018-06-25 
| by Editor | Posted in News, Education, Business & Finance
Eugenie Teasley, Uber UK’s Head of Cities – South & East of England (pictured third from the right) joined by some of the Business Launchpad staff & young entrepreneurs.

A group of Tooting’s young entrepreneurs headed into The City at the end of last week to take part in networking and mentorship sessions with the top team at Uber’s UK headquarters.

The trip was arranged through Tooting-based Business Launchpad, with the aim to inspire these young people as they face the inevitable challenges of trying to take their fledgling businesses to the next level – experiences that are no different to the ups and downs that Uber has encountered ever since its inception in 2011.

Eugenie Teasley, Head of Cities (South & East of England) at Uber, led the proceedings and began by sharing the story of how Uber had grown from very humble beginnings (when the two founders came up with the idea after struggling to get a taxi back to their hotel after a NYE in Paris) to now operating in over 600 cities worldwide, and what made her want to work for the business. Eugenie also spoke candidly about some of the negative press that Uber has received in recent times, what they have learned from this and what they have been doing and are continuing to do, to turn that around.
 

Two guest speakers were introduced: George Gissing, People Operations Generalist for Uber UK, gave tips on running a company from an HR perspective – with a particular emphasis on knowing your own strengths and weaknesses and the importance of the small everyday interactions with your staff that can end up meaning so much.

Stephan Eyeson, Accounts Lead at Uber Central EMEA (and a former counsellor at Business Launchpad) then gave a presentation on all the different businesses that Uber were building globally (such as Uber Freight and Uber Air) and the entrepreneurial skills that were most needed within the company. Stephan shared advice based on what he is continually learning from being part of the team that is creating these different strands of the company – in particular, the necessity to get as much feedback from potential customers as you can before launching your business and to be certain you know what the end goal is.
 

George Gissing, People Operations Generalist for Uber UK, in conversation with Charlie and Giovanni from Digilab Tooting, a youth-focused social enterprise that teaches core digital and technical skills to local youngsters.

This was followed by session of 1-2-1 mentoring for each of the young entrepreneurs in attendance from a different member of Uber UK’s top team. Obed Yeboah and Samson Opayemi who run Digilab Tooting enjoyed a mentoring session with Andy Hodgson, Head of Finance of Uber Northern Europe and found it immensely useful.

“We received excellent tips from Andy on how to give our business a more solid financial platform from which to grow. He took the time to listen and really dig deep into what we are doing to engage young people in Tooting through tech, and it was very helpful to get advice specific to our business rather than something more generic. Andy also shared some great insights on what leadership looks like on a day-to-day basis, which we are definitely going to take on board,” said Obed.

Andy found the session just as beneficial, commenting, “I felt hugely inspired in speaking to Obed and Samson and in what they have managed to achieve in such a short period of time – especially as it’s just the two of them running the project! Hopefully I was able to help with some advice on how they can become more financially robust and get on a firmer footing as they prepare to expand in the near future. I think what they’re doing is so noble, we’re going to stay in touch and I’m here to support them as and when they need it.”
 

Tom Elvidge, General Manager for Uber UK, in conversation with Ruth Wanjiku, who has an online platform to connect residents in rural areas of Kenya to local tech solutions.

The team at Business Launchpad and its clients would like to extend their thank to Eugenie and her colleagues at Uber UK for putting on such an insightful and educational morning and hope that the Uber team got just as much out of it as they did!

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Based in the Trident Business Centre on Bickersteth Road, Business Launchpad offers free business support & counselling to young entrepreneurs aged 16-30 in Wandsworth. To find out more about Business Launchpad, click here.

If you’re a young Tooting entrepreneur who’d like to be featured in future articles, then drop us some details via email – we’d love to hear from you!

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