Social media and PR expert
In this, the second of our two Inspiring Entrepreneurs interviews on Start-up Day, we meet and hear from Irene Agbontaen, founder of fashion brand TTYA London, in conversation with Anis Qizilbash.
Irene’s company TTYA - or Taller Than Your Average - is a fashion apparel brand for taller women, supplying a market that Irene - standing at 5’11’’ - knew was underserviced. TTYA launched in Selfridge’s in 2013, becoming their first tall-specific brand. TTYA has gone on to have a home in Barneys New York and was the first pioneering tall brand to debut on ASOS.com. Irene’s designs have been worn by major celebrities.
In this discussion Irene will be speaking about how she has navigated the industry and gone on to secure contracts with major stockists whilst keeping a very strong commitment to herself, her beliefs about inclusivity and to the essence of the business. There will also be lots of practical advice about how to truly be the face and voice of your brand, and how social media, e-commerce, endorsements and collaborations are all just as much a part of modern businesses as much as planning, accounting and sales.
Whether you are starting up in fashion, or another sector, you may find yourself being expected to change and conform to fit in with the establishment. Irene talks powerfully about her inner voice to resist this and how that, ultimately, has strengthened the business. For TTYA’s first catwalk show at Lagos Fashion Week in 2018 it was a team comprised solely of women of colour that went with her.
We all face a very challenging retail landscape in the light of the pandemic and changes in consumer spending. We’ll talk to Irene about how TTYA has faced this past year and what the future holds. Having played just a small role in TTYA’s story at the beginning, as Irene accessed stats on consumers from our market research databases to help progress her business, the BIPC is so happy to work with Irene again to inspire you as you begin your business now.
Join our panel of experts to learn how Black entrepreneurs are building empires online by using their influence and creativity.
You will hear from six inspiring entrepreneurs at various stages in their careers and across a range of industries, as our panel come together to discuss the considerations they took into account when building their businesses and the insights they have learnt along the way.
Whether you are just thinking about starting a business, a business owner who wants to learn more, or perhaps you wish to establish a stronger network, you’ll leave this event feeling inspired and engaged.
On the day, you can expect to:
Learn how the Black Lives Matter movement prompted the rise in Black enterprises and powered increased support for themUnderstand the financial reality of starting a business in today’s changing marketExplore Black-owned businesses in theatre and the arts and the importance of representation on the stageRecognise the power of the Black pound and how to convert this knowledge into assets for the Black economyLearn about the importance of social media for building Black businesses.
Following this will be an engaging and thought-provoking Fireside Chat – a discussion on community building with Black Pound Day founder and So Solid Crew member, Swiss.
About our panel
Rachael Twumasi-Corson, CEO and founder of Afrocenchix Ltd. At 19 Rachael co-founded Afrocenchix, an award-winning ethical start-up that creates safe, effective, vegan certified products for Afro & curly hair.Emmanuel Asuquo, founder of The Eman Effect UK, is a renowned, financial adviser, media personality, wealth building entrepreneur and international speaker.TJ Atkinson is a Property Investor, who specialises in transforming homes into beautiful, creative masterpieces. Alongside growing his portfolio, TJ supports people in his community with getting started in property.Indie Gordon is Head of Program at Foundervine and founder of Halo safety app. She aims to empower today's and tomorrow's companies, ensuring they’re tech-enabled and can weather the storm of any social, economic or environmental change.The panel will be moderated by Khai Shaw, co-founder of the theatre company Nuu Theatre. Khai has collaborated with the English Touring Theatre Company and the Bush Theatre.
Swiss is the founder of Black Pound Day, the UK's biggest economic movement that supports Black-owned businesses. He is a cultural influencer, business leader, author, and highly acclaimed musician and member of So Solid Crew. Alongside his passion for music, Swiss founded the Black Pound Day movement to support awareness and growth of the Black businesses and economy in the UK and global diasporic communities. Recently, Swiss opened the first permanent retail store at Westfield London, Europe's biggest shopping centre, and continues to actively support hundreds of businesses across the country.The chat will be moderated by Jacqueline Brown, BIPC Business Support Programming Manager, serial entrepreneur and founder of businesses Africa Fashion Guide, Wax and Wraps and M.O.R.Empire. Since 2011, Jacqueline has helped start-ups to build and launch sustainable fashion businesses from scratch with coaching, digital tools, community and connections.
Ever popular on Start-up Day, we’re happy to welcome back global market researchers Mintel to share the inside track on emerging trends affecting your business ideas right now.
We’ll cut through all the jargon and data to bring you all the big headlines trending in key sectors and, of course, in sustainable living.
Richard Cope is a Senior Trends Consultant at Mintel and author of its Sustainability Barometer. In his presentation he will share some of the most up to date trends data that will focus on how do you sell sustainability to consumers.
Some of the main sections covered will be:
The sustainability drivers of consumer buying behaviours
How to learn from the best brands
The latest news on emissions, measuring carbon footprints and waste reduction
Power of using the right language in describing your sustainable practices and priorities
How sustainability in the UK compares across the world.
You can access Mintel data in Business & IP Centres across the country. Our expert staff are there to help you pick out and understand the stories such as these behind the stats, and inform some really key decisions as you build your business. Visit bl.uk/business to find your nearest Centre
This special Start-up Day workshop, delivered as part of BIPC Glasgow's PowerUp project, will explain how to make best use of free online resources at BIPC Glasgow to support your business start-up, expanding business, or develop your own digital business skills. Delivered by Kavan Stafford, Information Officer at BIPC Glasgow.
Join BIPC Hull, Hull’s Makerspace and Business Innovation Expert, Steve Page, to understand how to bring new products to market.
Bringing new products to market can be a difficult, time consuming, expensive and daunting process that requires every step of the way to be carefully structured and planned, if it is to be a success. Understanding the importance of properly investigating and testing a new product is key to getting the investment and support needed to achieve market launch.
This webinar provides an overview of the main steps and key stages that are involved, covering:
The concept development stageHow and when prototypes can be built and testedHow to provide proof of how well an idea or concept worksHow to attract investment.
What attendees will gain:
An overview of the main steps involved and the risks to the project if these are not followedAn understanding of the importance of properly investigating and testing a new idea or conceptAn appreciation of how the results gathered can be used to move the project to the next stage in your product innovation journey.