ABOUT THE PROJECT
Title: Wise Up Community
Date: 2013 – 2015
Place of completion: Tehran, Iran
As the Iran startups ecosystem was in its infant period, the lack of fundamental knowledge and experience have challenged the launch of new business startups. Also, young entrepreneurs felt the need of supporting network to receive insight and awareness. Depriving of these requirements and incubators strengthened the cliche (specifically for women graduates) that entrepreneurship is a hard, inherently risky and never- to do a task.
The WISE-UP community tried to help female entrepreneurs for receiving a good psychological and practical experience of “how to create their own business” by gathering and establishing the communicative network of coaches, expert entrepreneurs, and mentors. This communication platform aimed to promote the sharing of ideas through monthly meetings entitled “Entrepreneurship Breakfast.” In each informal and round-table meetings we discussed the challenges and potentials of launched businesses where an invited member told his/her success story in front of peers, expert entrepreneurs, and business consultants.
WISE-UP Community was a collaborative project co-founded by my sister, Reyhaneh and I.
The main challenge that we faced during our time at WISE-UP was to know the prerequisites of interested people in entrepreneurship and how we can help them to realize the dream of running their own business. To figure out this issue, we started field research to reach a list of needs and challenges of novice entrepreneurs.
To spot the potential contacts we created personas of young entrepreneur talents.
In order to understand the roots of participants needs, we used co-design method asking them to draw the challenges of a weekday as an entrepreneur.
To create a friendly environment for participants we decided that wise up take place in cafes. This facilitated the contribution for sharing of personal experience and challenges of entrepreneurship among participants.
One of the insights we learned in wise up was that young entrepreneurs or who want to be an entrepreneur need personalized consultancy. However, due to their limit of the financial budget in the early stage of creating a business, they cannot afford to pay for professional consultants. Regarding the problem, we tried to decrease this expense of consultancy by hold meetings of peers to peers in order to find the contingent solutions.