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Case study


My advisory board helped me figure out pricing and scale the business

BeGenio founder Grace explains how Be the Business’s support helped turn her mission to end mathematical anxiety into a successful business.

I worked with my advisory board to develop my pricing and build towards a scalable business.

At the age of ten, Grace Olugbodi was an average student with mathematical anxiety, but her father’s encouragement transformed maths into a fun and creative outlet. A simple shift in mindset led Grace to achieve great success in higher education and she’s turned that learning into a successful tech business.

Grace launched BeGenio while working in investment banking. It combines fun maths games with unique play experiences to boost students’ self-confidence and eliminate the pressure surrounding mathematics.

Taking part in Be the Business’s Strive programme gave Grace access to a board of advisors and connections which provided support during the prototype and MVP development stages.

Working as a volunteer helped crystallise the idea

Grace volunteered in schools, helping students facing the same struggles she had experienced. She found that incorporating games into learning and being creative with students saw their confidence and abilities transform.

“Within six weeks, I was getting feedback from the teachers who were saying that the kids were more engaged and could put up their hands more in class. Their whole confidence had turned around.”

Grace found that the problem was threefold, noticing that parents and teachers lacked the knowledge to support students who were struggling with maths anxiety. It wasn’t until years later that her idea became a reality and BeGenio was born.

“I felt a pull towards my mission to help children fall in love with maths and eliminate mathematical anxiety to open up their opportunities and achieve success,” she said.

With the mission in mind, the next challenge was turning her idea into a reality. Grace was talking to mentors on an ad hoc basis but felt that getting fresh eyes on the business and speaking to people on a more regular basis would be helpful.

Securing funding with the perfect pitch

A key challenge every business faces is funding. Be it loans or investments, you need potential stakeholders to believe in your mission – so it’s important to perfect your pitch.

In the beginning, Grace admits her pitch deck wasn’t investor-ready:

“When my board members looked at our deck, they let us know it wasn’t as exciting or as clear as we thought it was. We have since redone our deck, and are certain now that our mission is a lot more clear to people.

“I’m more confident with where my pitch is now. To get feedback from five experts at the same time was really helpful whilst learning about the pitching process.”

Unlocking a path to scale the business

Every entrepreneur wants to ensure their business is scalable. Building a solid strategy that outlines your growth goals is key, but it can be difficult to know what to include.

“I talked at length with my advisory board about scaling and the things we needed to put in place. We wanted to get the product out to more partners, generate more sales and work on our pricing.

“We had advice from one of the board members about the importance of price testing, so that we would know the right price to place our products at,” said Grace.

Grace and the board also covered licensing issues and finding co-founders, leading her to think twice about partnerships she was unsure of.

Getting introductions from board members

Grace aims to have a permanent board in place upon scaling her firm, and explained that having an advisory board through Be the Business has boosted her confidence as a business owner.

“What was great about having a formal board on side was that it was good practice for when you have your real board in place or for situations where you want to raise funding for example,” she added.

But whilst the advisory board enabled Grace to test, adapt and improve her offering, she made some key connections too. Through Strive, Grace was able to network with other business owners that could help her launch BeGenio:

“I connected with people who could support with various aspects of the business like distribution as well as a contact who could help us develop our prototype.”

Grace recommends the advisory board programme to other business owners who want support to grow their businesses.

“It's a very worthwhile thing to do. You have the opportunity to take on that support from people who have experience in different industries and look at your business with fresh eyes. They can certainly come up with a lot of good advice that can help a business move forward.”

Need a sounding board for your business challenges? Be the Business’s Strive programme offers support to ethnic minority business owners from small and medium-sized businesses – find out more about our Strive programme here.

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