Anne-Marie Imafidon is the founder and director of Avisami, a collective of people working on business ideas and creating opportunities for other people to work and implement their own ideas.
The Avisami Foundation is a not-for-profit arm of Avisami that focuses on providing help, support and advice for students at all levels and young professionals. Since 2010 the Avisami Foundation has helped a number of GCSE and A-Level candidates study for upcoming exams, taught revision and study techniques, provided tutoring services and advice regarding career paths and further education.
The eldest child in “Britain’s Brainiest Family,” Anne-Marie has always been interested in business, maths and technology. Her achievements include holding the current world record as the youngest girl to pass A-level computing at the age of 11 and being one of the youngest students to be awarded a Masters’ degree in Mathematics and Computer Science by the University of Oxford, aged just 20.
Anne-Marie was interviewed by the students of St Philomena’s Catholic High School for Girls as part of the Twenty Ten Club’s “Interview an Entrepreneur” school programme.
At 14 did you know what you wanted to do or where you wanted to be? (Lauren, 14 years)
I was told I would make a good management consultant so that is what I thought I would head towards. I did some work experience in a bank and got paid for it.
So, I decided to go into banking and I am now a social entrepreneur as well. Don’t be afraid to change your mind and plans.
How do you manage your time? Leah (17 years)
Develop good habits whilst you are young and make use of technology like Blackberry, iPad or blog!
What or who inspires you? (Anna, 17 years)
I think I would have to say I have three categories – my father and grandmother; women in technology and young people.
With my father the sky is the limit, he is so supportive. I’m inspired by women, like Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, who have gone against the odds and achieved success in “male dominated” careers.
In the world of business what has been your greatest obstacle so far? (Fransisca, 17 years)
Learn to say no! Manage your time and your energy. Keep your energy levels up and look after yourself.
How have you used your challenges to motivate you? (Charmaine, 15 years)
Study hard but always take time out and have a break.
What are your aspirations now and for the future? (Doyinsola, 16 years)
To have short, medium and long term goals. My medium term goal is to create a social media enterprise with a triple base line – that makes profit, helps the environment and meets social needs.
As a young woman in business, what advice would you give? (Neka, 15 years)
Study hard get the best grades that you can at GCSE and A level. When taking your degree, aim for a first even if you are not at Oxbridge as this will stand you in good stead with employers. Try to learn a second language.
Don’t be afraid to go into partnership or investment with people. It is better to have 20% of something rather than 100% of nothing and you will learn along the way.
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For more information on the Twenty Ten Club’s Interview an Entrepreneur school programme visit www.twentytenclub.com/school-programme