Why is it important that business owners and entrepreneurs participate in support groups and talk to other business owners and entrepreneurs?
MM: Being in business can often feel like a lonely place and coming to support groups
MK: or Pods as we like to call them
MM: will give a business owner real life feedback on ideas, problems and solutions. Support groups will create Iife long relationships. It will help them achieve personal growth, avoid costly mistakes, and create network opportunities. Furthermore we can all act as mentors to each other as everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses.
MK: and lastly Podpora is the place to #CelebrateAllSuccesses no matter how big or small they are.
What is your background and what lead you to star up Podpora?
MK: I’m a BBC (British Born Chinese), currently residing in Brisbane. When I moved from the UK in 2010, I didn’t know a single person and so to raise awareness about my business and to connect with others, I went to some of the networking groups we mentioned above but as my UK business friends encouraged me to create my own business community, that is what I did. Queensland Business Group (QBG), a closed Facebook was born in 2010 and to date, the group helps 5100+ business owners where they can ask questions, ask for referrals and join in business discussions. It is a great free online resource but at the end of the day, we are humans. We need to meet face to face so when Monika told me about her idea, I jumped at the chance of bringing it alive.
MM: I have the soul of a gypsy. Bulgarian born but well travelled having lived in 4 different countries. As we are both business owners, Podpora seemed like the next logical step in our journey to Support, Encourage and Inspire others. We believe that entrepreneurs are a special kind of people and our goal is to create a global family through our movement.
Is this where you thought your life would lead, or have you taken a detour from your goals when you left school?
MM: To be honest with you, not really. I wasn’t sure where my life would lead, cruising through my twenties, looked after my son during my thirties, and dabbled in business while working full-time until the GFC when reality hit and I had to pick up the pieces and start my life all over again.
MK: Growing up in a Chinese family in the UK, although it was tradition to take over the family business, their dream for me and my siblings was to get a good education and get a good career, marriage, 2.4 children and a house with the white picket fence. Most of my working life involved working for the corporate sector, but when a friend asked me to go into business, I did the research and was thrilled to launch a business. We started the business, I got made redundant, I decided to go it alone in 2009 and have not looked back. My corporate life helped me to learn a lot of key lessons that became extremely useful in my business life and I am extremely thrilled to be part of this movement. Tell them your vision. Monika!!
MM: (laughs) My vision for Podpora is to see our logo on Times Square and we will get there: one Pod at a time.