How perseverance and passion has brought me success

 

Your name: Edwin Broni-Mensah
Your company: GiveMeTap
Company profile: GiveMeTap enables users of a specially-branded GiveMeTap bottle to get free tap water refills from a network of cafes and restaurant owners whilst on the go, that can be located at www.givemetap.co.uk. GiveMeTap enables users to save money, otherwise spent on bottled water and help the environment by reducing wastage of discarded plastic bottles. GiveMeTap is passionate about helping others without the same access to high quality, clean water around the world - and has therefore pledged 70% of all the profits to funding independent water projects in regions where it's needed most.
Your position in the company: Owner and Founder
Founded: 2010
The business challenge case study - body text
Case study title:
Overview: From a young age I have been fascinated by the process of creative problem solving, which led me to pursue a degree in Computer Science and Mathematics and a PhD in Mathematic Finance at The University of Manchester. During my studies, I was continually exploring my business ideas and constructed business plans for three of them. Subsequently I entered the university business plans competition - Venture Further; however, was unable to even reach the finals of the competition in two subsequent years. In October 2009 I entered the university's business ideas competition Venture Out, where I proposed GiveMeTap, which enables people who carry a specially-branded bottle to find water on the go from a network of eateries. The academic judges could not see the potential in the project and handed me another knockback by rejecting the business idea. Despite these setbacks I persisted, as I felt passionately that this project would work and be successful. After four months of hard work I had created a network consisting of 26 locations where GiveMeTap users can get free tap water refills around Manchester and began successfully distributing the GiveMeTap bottles around the university campus. My passion for this project was felt by an audience of business professionals and students in London who voted for me and my idea GiveMeTap as the Shell LiveWIRE elevator pitch competition winner. Since winning that competition, and securing funding from UnLtd (the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs), I was mentioned in the Manchester Evening News and Crains Manchester Business Magazine and TheBusniessDesk.com, and cited in a NACUE case study.
The challenge: Those earlier knockbacks and the skills I learnt along the way really helped me overcome a huge challenge: the challenge of moving quickly and actually executing the business plan. A lot of time can be spent in planning, getting bogged down in planning the extremely fine details. Many call this 'paralysis-by-analysis' and was something I had to continually tried avoid, as through my research degree I have been accustomed to performing in-depth analysis of problems before drawing conclusions in order to derive new mathematical models.
The solution: To think, plan, and take action at the quickest time possible. I got in the habit of testing out my ideas very quickly and adjusting as I progressed. I often found that the answers to many of the questions I had when planning could only be answered once I began executing and running the business. This flexible approach, of thinking, planning and taking rapid action coupled with the ability to keep trying even in the face of setbacks is what has given me even more desire to make GiveMeTap reach it goals of making water easily accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
Key lesson: Thinking creatively and then following through with action can have huge impacts on your business. This really showed me how persistence and passion really overcomes almost any obstacle.
Top tip: Persistence really does pay! GiveMeTap was rejected by Manchester University lecturers, who thought it was not sustainable and couldn't see how it would generate revenue to support the development of water projects. I learnt that by taking feedback (both positive and negative) and then moving forward nonetheless, great things can be achieved.
Find out more about GiveMeTap

Overview

From a young age I have been fascinated by the process of creative problem solving, which led me to pursue a degree in Computer Science and Mathematics and a PhD in Mathematic Finance at The University of Manchester.

During my studies, I was continually exploring my business ideas and constructed business plans for three of them. Subsequently I entered the university business plans competition - Venture Further; however, was unable to even reach the finals of the competition in two subsequent years. In October 2009 I entered the university's business ideas competition Venture Out, where I proposed GiveMeTap, which enables people who carry a specially-branded bottle to find water on the go from a network of eateries. The academic judges could not see the potential in the project and handed me another knockback by rejecting the business idea.

Despite these setbacks I persisted, as I felt passionately that this project would work and be successful. After four months of hard work I had created a network consisting of 26 locations where GiveMeTap users can get free tap water refills around Manchester and began successfully distributing the GiveMeTap bottles around the university campus.

My passion for this project was felt by an audience of business professionals and students in London who voted for me and my idea GiveMeTap as the Shell LiveWIRE elevator pitch competition winner. Since winning that competition, and securing funding from UnLtd (the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs), I was mentioned in the Manchester Evening News and Crains Manchester Business Magazine and TheBusniessDesk.com, and cited in a NACUE case study.

The challenge

Those earlier knockbacks and the skills I learnt along the way really helped me overcome a huge challenge: the challenge of moving quickly and actually executing the business plan. A lot of time can be spent in planning, getting bogged down in planning the extremely fine details. Many call this 'paralysis-by-analysis' and was something I had to continually tried avoid, as through my research degree I have been accustomed to performing in-depth analysis of problems before drawing conclusions in order to derive new mathematical models.

The solution

To think, plan, and take action at the quickest time possible. I got in the habit of testing out my ideas very quickly and adjusting as I progressed. I often found that the answers to many of the questions I had when planning could only be answered once I began executing and running the business. This flexible approach, of thinking, planning and taking rapid action coupled with the ability to keep trying even in the face of setbacks is what has given me even more desire to make GiveMeTap reach it goals of making water easily accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Key lesson

Thinking creatively and then following through with action can have huge impacts on your business. This really showed me how persistence and passion really overcomes almost any obstacle.

Top tip

Persistence really does pay! GiveMeTap was rejected by Manchester University lecturers, who thought it was not sustainable and couldn't see how it would generate revenue to support the development of water projects. I learnt that by taking feedback (both positive and negative) and then moving forward nonetheless, great things can be achieved.

Find out more about GiveMeTap

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