Tina took the pictures of her mother’s weddings and used these photographs to create her first website. As clients began reaching out to her, Tine started photographing more frequently at weddings. With the support of her partner, Tina felt encouraged to pursue her passion more professionally and begin to grow her business. Quickly, Tina’s business grew from five weddings each year to 50.
KIZ (Communication and Innovation Centre) offered Tina an affordable office space without having to commit to a long-term rental contract. In one of the networking meetings of the office building, she met Dirk, the director of Youth Business Germany (YBG). At first, Tina doubted that there was anything for her to learn since her business was already running well, but she quickly realised that she her participation in the YBG programme could be very helpful for her business.
At the beginning, Tina became frustrated with the process. She required a personality coach rather than a mentor for business advice, and for this reason, YBG struggled to find her a mentor. Tina decided to take her own initiative and asked one of the YBG coaches to personally mentor her, and he agreed.
Since her business was already large, Tina decided to offer sessions for other wedding photographers. Without YBG, she would not have pursued this opportunity. However, her mentor and coach supported her and helped her design the workshop.
The coaching workshops were safe spaces where everybody could share their challenges and experiences and people discussed solutions in group settings. Tina found these meetings incredibly motivating.
“If I had not joined the YBG programme, I would just continue doing what I was doing. I would not have grown. I would have never though that so much can happen in 6 months.”
Recently, Tina employed another programme participant as a part-time assistant based on input she received from her coach. This partnership was a huge enrichment for her business and was a mutual win for her and the new-hire.
Tina found that one of the main benefits of YBG was its ability to take her fears away. By allowing her to organize the coaching workshops, she was reassured that she is skilled at running a business.
Tina’s advice to other young entrepreneurs is:
“It is really important that people are aware that they have to implement suggestions themselves. It is not that you participate for 6 months and your business is automatically sorted.”
KIZ is a resource of entrepreneurs in Germany that provides experts, experience, and know-how to anyone willing to start a business. Many young entrepreneurs are supported through a 12-month scholarship that provides basic entrepreneurial tools, a mentorship program, and access to the Youth Business Germany (YBG) network. YBG is part of the Youth Business Europe programme, a regional initiative supported by the Citi Foundation to help young entrepreneurs to start or grow a business.