CEO & Editor-in-Chief
Nubia Magazine CIC is a social enterprise that aims to promote positive images of Black minority ethnic people, celebrating their success and achievements while providing a platform for engagement.
The organisation publishes two community magazines and provides young people with training opportunities within media and the creative arts.
Founded by Angela Asieba in January 2009, Nubia Magazine employs a team of five in Kent and Islington, London.
Why did you decide to start your company?
Nubia Magazine started as a project in July 2008 and began trading as a company in January 2009. I decided to turn a negative discriminatory experience into a positive and launched Nubia to raise awareness, educate the masses, promote positive images and create a forum for engagement.
Equally, providing young people and the community with the opportunity to gain functional and key skills within a creative environment was a goal for the company.
What was your career path prior to starting your first business?
I previously worked as a communications manager with a background in journalism and I currently work as an English and creative writing tutor. I have also worked as a Community Development Officer.
Did you always know that you would start your own business?
I have been self-employed for seven years so I always had an entrepreneurial mindset as a risk taker.
Can you tell me more about the magazine, how did you recruit your editorial team?
I forged partnerships and collaborative working with universities, schools and the voluntary sector that fed their students through to us. We also recruited the team through government contracts such at the Graduate Training Programme via our local authority.
Can you tell me more about the opportunities, skills and training your organisation provides?
We provide young people with the opportunity to gain functional and key skills within creative media and business administration.
This includes graphic design; web design; web and content management; social media; new media; digital marketing campaigns; press and media; events management; sales and marketing; advertising and administration, to name a few.
You recently secured funding from the Big Lottery’s Awards for All scheme, what advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who are actively seeking funding?
You have to allocate and factor in the time as funding applications can be a minefield at times. If you can dedicate someone to source the funding for you then even better. We are devising a strategy ourselves as you still have to continue to deliver your work.
What are you working on at the moment and can you describe your typical working day?
We are currently preparing for our motivational talk at Lewisham Library with a fellow entrepreneur, encouraging community to ‘launch out into the deep’ and find their God given destiny. We recently hosted our youth fundraising jam at the Fridge Bar in Brixton, encouraging young people to become involved in entrepreneurship and also providing then with a platform to showcase their musical talents.
What have been the highlights of running your own business?
It’s great to be your own boss, manage and plan your day. I love people, working particularly with young people, however you really need to be dedicated and focused. You also need to be able to self motivate, self talk is good and to have a resilient and determined mentality.
What is the hardest part of running your own business?
Maintaining a positive mindset is paramount despite the challenges and turning every negative experience into an opportunity. You have to develop a hard skin and not be mindful of what others may think, particularly if you are doing something unique and out of the ordinary.
What has been your proudest business moment so far?
Positive outcomes such as testimonials from previous students that have managed to secure permanent employed through doing a spell with us. Also nurturing and providing young people with the opportunity to utilise their talents and feedback from readers who have benefitted positively from our articles.
What, or who, inspires and motivates you?
Joyce Meyer, Oprah Winfrey and my mother. All three are determined women of colour who despite their adversities managed to soldier on and achieve their dreams.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering starting a social enterprise?
Find a business mentor; shadow someone already in the business; be willing to learn and work hard and be committed to the long-haul.
Fast forward five years, where do you think your business will be in 2016?
I would love to have franchises of Nubia in every inner city area, providing the community with work and working for a project that promotes them as a people.
* * * *
* * * *
Angela Asieba was interviewed by Octavia Goredema, founder of the Twenty Ten Club.