Thanks to our F100 Growth Fund in partnership with Sky, seven Black-owned businesses received funding in 2022. We asked some of our 2022 winners to share their journey to their businesses and how they found the F100 Growth Fund experience.
Shanice Mills from Kallure Consulting shares her story.
My name is Shanice Mills and I run Kallure Consulting.
I am in the business of communications. I help clients find their voices and share their stories to authentic audiences. I started off by freelancing as a consultant after the birth of my child. After years of working in the PR industry I fell in love with it. So, when I went off on maternity leave I didn’t want to completely stop working. However, I wanted a level of freedom and to still be a present parent. My ideas started to evolve and I decided to found my own agency.
I started Kallure for a few reasons. A main reason being business equity. Becoming a mother changed my outlook on a number of things, therefore I wanted to ensure that I was present in the early stages of my daughter’s life, as well as create a foundation for her future. I wanted to create economic equity for generations to come, and create leadership opportunities for young Black women who are looking to enter into the digital communications space.
Another reason was frustration, having worked in PR & Communications for many years I noticed a disconnect with the major agencies leading the market space and the people who spearheaded them. During my time, having worked in-house and at an agency, I recognised that there were huge communities that were not being communicated with effectively, and there was an opportunity to bridge this gap.
I actually came across the BEO x Sky F100 Growth Fund programme through a good friend of mine. She is also a fellow businesswoman and suggested I apply. I wasn’t sure if I should due to my imposter syndrome, and then two more people within my network sent me the application link. That was a sign so I applied immediately and here we are!
Well, the first reason I applied for the F100 programme was because I really admire the mission of BEO and what they represent so I thought it would be good to see what the programme was about.
When I did I felt it was the right move. I needed support, a better understanding of being a business owner and trying to scale, so the programme felt like a step in the right direction. As I found when speaking to people within the black entrepreneurial space the problem many encountered was raising capital. Something we know for some time has been a huge issue for start ups with the black communities. This programme is a starting point to dealing with these issues.
F100 Demo Day was very useful and provided the necessary insight ahead of the official pitching day. I found it helpful and it made me improve the way I presented the information in my pitch.
I would say there have been three key benefits of joining the F100 Growth Fund. The first is the vast network BEO has access to. I have had the opportunity to meet a wide range of people including various stakeholders. I’ve been invited to a variety of events and met fellow entrepreneurs.
The second is business development. I feel that on a business level I really grew during my time on the programme; in terms of next steps and where my focus should be for scaling the business.
Finally, the third would definitely be financial growth. I have been able to invest back into areas of the business that help support the growth of Kallure which prior I wouldn’t have been able to.
Be yourself. Nothing beats authenticity. Be honest with where you are at and where you want to be in your business. I think it’s important to be intentional with all that you do that way you can get the most out of the programme.