Our Featured Mumpreneur this time is Lisa Wright of Webiket and Young Minds Online.
When did you start your business and why?
Webiket was founded in May 2014.
It has started with its first project www.youngmindsonline.ie which is launching its first product – a suite of five e-learning courses designed to promote digital literacy and cyber wellbeing in November.
In 2015 Webiket will offer a larger suite of products, online courses, educational resources and internet security software.
It will also offer services, face-to-face digital training, security audit of networks and audit of personal digital footprints – which are centred around this idea of cyber wellbeing.
As a Mum of four children aged 15-10 I have personally witnessed and dealt with the fallout from cyber bullying and internet security problems in my home.
I decided to try to do something about this and present a proactive solution to these problems.
I joined forces with Joanne Sweeney-Burke who had piloted the Young Minds Online course in Salerno College.
Together we have re-packaged this course to deliver an online solution which will help to educate people to work, play and live well online.
What is your role within your business?
I am a co-founder of the business.
I have over twelve years’ experience in distance learning in the global market as a Director of Kilroy’s College, so I head up the Online Learning Department and Student Services Team.
What do you like doing most in your business?
I like to design interactive, fun and gameful learning that deliver learning outcomes.
Our Young Minds Online course is certainly not boring and contains fun tasks that show real-time scores, so that learners can see how they are progressing every step of the way.
What do you like doing least in your business?
I am passionate about online learning so I don’t dislike any aspect of my work.
How many people do you work with in your business?
There are two of us in the Dublin office and six based out of Galway.
How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Over a glass of wine at Easter in Connemara on a family holiday.
What is the best thing about being a mumpreneur?
The best thing is being able to work on a project that will benefit my own family.
What is the worst thing about being a mumpreneur?
The worst thing is there are never enough hours in the day!
What is your biggest challenge juggling family life with running a business?
Time management and realistic expectations – you can’t have your cake and eat it – you need to be flexible and learn how to switch off from work when you come home.
What business training did you have before or since you started your business?
I have worked in the corporate sector in Russia for seven years before I came to Ireland and started work with Kilroy’s College in Dublin twelve years ago.
I have worked as a business consultant, a sugar trader, a purchasing and logistics manager in Russia and also worked from the age of ten helping to make boxes for a neighbour’s tomato growing business and then on a farm picking and packing vegetables every summer until I left College.
I am a hard worker and all of my experiences to date have helped me to lean in.
Most recently I completed a Start Your Own Business evening course with the Local Enterprise Office in Dublin which was really useful and I have a great business mentor.
How has this helped you with growing your business?
I am able to turn my hand to most jobs and am not afraid to speak my mind.
Have you received financial help in setting up in business? If yes from whom? E.g – bank, investor, etc.
We have not received any financial help to date.
Joanne and I have invested our own money into this startup and are confident that we can carry this risk and have budgeted accordingly.
How important do you see networking to help your business?
Networking is the most important way to grow a business.
If you can talk to people about what you are doing they will genuinely help you and spread the word. This is invaluable when you are starting out.
We got one of our first corporate clients through networking at the Irish-Russian Business Association.
What Social Media networks do you use to promote your business and how effective have they been?
Do you think there is enough support for mothers who are also business people?
Probably not, if I am going to be honest. The cost of childcare is ridiculous and puts a real strain on working parents.
We all just juggle which is really stressful and there has to be a better way.
What are the biggest challenges facing you right now?
The back-end catching up with the front end! We have so many great ideas but we are a small team with a small budget right now.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
If you want something done ask a busy person!
What advice would you give to other mothers who are thinking about starting a business?
Go on a Start Your Own Business course – educate yourself and be informed before you make any decision. It is a lot of work and a fair amount of risk but if you really believe in your idea get it validated and take the plunge!
Now that you have seen what Lisa does go visit her website and tell your friends about it.