Posts

Turbine is glad to have Alexandrine Maigrot as one of our Start-up Coaches. Alexandrine is coaching Nathalie, founder of Feuilles et Fleurs. We are pretty sure that her years of experience will benefit our start-up in the best way possible. Alexandrine shares her journey with us.

Alexandrine, please tell us about you.

I was born and raised in France, before settling in Mauritius. Through my professional activities, travels and various trainings, I had the opportunity and pleasure to open up to different cultures, all equally enriching.
With an initial Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Business Management and Marketing (advertising and international trade option), I started my professional career in large groups, notably as marketing manager and product developer.
In my jobs, I have always allocated space for creativity and attached particular importance to employee initiatives and personal development, accompanying it to the best of my abilities and skills.

Share with us your professional journey and your experience with entrepreneurs and start-ups so far.

Passionate about entrepreneurship and project developments, I made it my job, creating my own company to support and guide other companies, and also personally undertaking projects with partners (financial or operational).
Thanks to my 30 years of professional experience, various project accompaniments or implementation and a further training in Coaching (School of Anne France Weyl – Hedo coaching), I am committed to putting my skills at the service of other people to enhance their performance by accompanying their projects and providing individual  coaching, collective or organizations, with a certain attraction for the world of entrepreneurship.

I use my creativity to help my interlocutors develop their full potential and thus help them to meet the personal and professional challenges of our time.
I’ve been summing this up lately as “passing on knowledge to” doing with what we have, what we are to move from the ordinary to the extraordinary. »

Why have you chosen to be a Turbine’s Start-up Coach?

Working with Turbine and Start-ups is a pleasure in the sense that it meets my values.
I fully support the concept of Turbine, which provides guidance and expertise to new entrepreneurs and helps them spread their wings!
It sometimes seems difficult and complicated to start a business especially when you’re “alone”. Turbine offers the necessary coaching, networking opportunities, expertise, and support to entrepreneurs in their difficult journey. It is, in my opinion, an incredible chance for new entrepreneurs who will know how to seize this opportunity.
The experts and coaches accompanying these young entrepreneurs, within the framework of Turbine, provide their assistance to the development of projects and new ideas, which may become businesses that might not have been born otherwise. This can surely enrich Mauritius’ economy and reveal new entrepreneurs’ talent.

Have business ideas or want to discuss about your entrepreneurial projects?

Our business coach is here to help you out.

Get a taste of how Incubation program coaching works.

 

Nathalie Daruty is a woman entrepreneur in Mauritius promoting medicinal plants. For a long time, Nathalie has been working on starting her enterprise Feuilles et fleurs and wants to take her business to the next level.  Now with all the knowledge, she has acquired from the Turbine Test Drive Program, she has joined the Turbine Incubation program to strengthen her start-up. Nathalie shares her vision and her interesting journey with us.

“I strongly wish to develop an enterprise that becomes the reference in the field of medicinal plants and its application. For that, I have plans to learn about the applications in depth from healers and specialists around the globe and bring this knowledge to our country to benefit our people.”

organic plantatin

Nathalie tending to her plants in her new field of crops

My entrepreneurial journey began when I started my studies on phytotherapy and aromatherapy. I started by testing a few infusions from plants in my garden and shared the products with friends and family: they loved it! Their reaction boosted my motivation and confidence so I kept working harder. I was able to make some money and buy paper bags as packaging.  Then I participating in Christmas markets where I earned enough money to buy a plant dryer. Taking part in these various fairs also allowed me to slowly level up the packaging. Back then, the dryer was in my garage while all the manufacturing was in my dining room. I finally also had to convert a room into a studio for my workshops. Despite having a few regular clients, my business could not flourish due to the limited land and production.

I have thus decided to move to farmland where I will also conduct my workshops.

natural products Foliage is collected in a sustainable and eco-conscious fashion

 

I am often asked:”Why Feuilles et Fleurs?”  One of the reasons is that I have always loved infusions and herbal products. After teaching for many years, I really wanted to do something that I am curious about and create new products that would be beneficial for our planet. That urge of doing something on my own doubled when I realized that I have to change my lifestyle to take care of our well being and go closer to nature.

Another reason would be the lack of good quality natural local herbal products. Most herbal products are imported and may not be of quality. The lack of simplicity in our consumption habits is neither good for our body nor for the planet.

My creations till now involve 12 variety of infusions namely turmeric powder, moringa powder, crude dried plants in bulk, massage balls (siam tampon), fagots of purification with sage.

natural products

Feuilles et Fleurs products in their new packaging

 

These natural products are for people who acknowledge the importance of health, that prevention is better than cure with chemical products, who are also environmentally friendly and want to learn the clean way of doing cultivation.

I am also looking forward to Feuilles et Fleurs conducting a workshop of 4 DIY sessions in collaboration with Wellness and SensiBio where participants will learn how to make their own cosmetic and cleaning products. The sessions are as follows:

5th February 2019: Sun’s cream and repair oil

26th February 2019: laundry, stain remover and dishwashing liquid

19th Mars 2019: deodorant, two kinds of toothpaste and makeup remover

9th April 2019: 3 soaps, powder shampoo + bar shampoo

workshop

The aim of this work is to be ecological, to reduce waste and also economic.

The Turbine Test Drive Programme was really beneficial to Feuilles et Fleurs. It made me realize the importance of structuring my company and gave me a more acute vision of the future.

Up to then, Feuilles et Fleurs was a very small company that I just liked working on, today, I have started taking action to make it a good and profitable business!

I never had any entrepreneurial training. As an incubated start-up at Turbine, I am really looking forward to all the experience and knowledge I will be getting through the coaching and workshops. I believe that it will help me avoid certain mistakes and guide me in making the best future possible for Feuilles et Fleurs. I understand that Turbine has a really good network too, and this will help me.

I am so thankful to Turbine for selecting Feuilles et Fleurs for the incubation program after Test Drive. I am really excited about the upcoming adventure!

Every last Thursday and Friday of the month, we offer free Co-working passes!

These passes are for those who wish to experience what it is like to co-work in an open space environment.

Our co-workers are entrepreneurs, innovators and various professionals (Architects, Accountants, digital marketer, developers…and many more),  who form a strong community of like minded people helping each other out.

One free pass can last a full day, 08h30 to 17h00, at our open space.

The next free co-working open days are as follows:

– January 24th and 25th
– February 21st and 22nd
– March 28th and 29th

**Not to forget** The offer also implies Free Coffee and other amenities (kitchen, WIFI and games) !!!

Sign up now! 

Turbine is mainly known for its start-up incubation and entrepreneurial activities. In the view to promote entrepreneurship in Mauritius, it is essential to provide a flexible place of work for talented individuals and professionals that foster a culture of innovation. For that purpose, we created Turbine’s Coworking space.
Shubhda Gujadhur is our newly appointed Community Associate. She is a young, creative and dynamic person who is all about promoting innovation and a healthy community in and around Turbine. She is in charge of Turbine’s Coworking space and shares her experience with us.

Coworking, a new culture of work

There are many things to be said about coworking but none of them will make any sense if one does not understand what coworking is. A quick online search will yield the following result:

“…the use of an office or other working environment by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, typically so as to share equipment, ideas, and knowledge…”

And while that pretty much hits the nail on the head, this definition brings many implications with it.

Think about what you need to be able to work? Your laptop, a plug point for your laptop, a desk, a chair and most importantly a decent internet connection. A space that would offer you all of those is called an office; where you rent your space for a fixed price every month, where you go to work every day to meet the same people and where you sit at your same spot to finish your work.

What if I told you that you could go to work, have flexible rental packages, meet new/ different interesting people every day and sit at a different spot whenever you would like to?  That is the first implication of the co-working definition. Oh, did I mention the free locally roasted coffee that you get?

Coworking vs Traditional work office

The second implication is that there is a particular culture that comes with co-working, one that transcends job titles, years of experience and rigid aspects of blue collar jobs: It is a culture of community; people sharing ideas, consulting one another in their respective fields of expertise, and at times, even collaborating with one another. At Turbine, this is done by fostering trust, diversity and innovation. Co-working brings diversity with it and collaborations between diverse groups of people make the best recipes for innovation.

Another issue that traditional offices have to face is the need to summon external professionals to solve your problems. Say your laptop has a bug: You would need to call a professional in order to fix it. However, it is highly likely that you will find a developer/ IT person in a co-working space that will probably be willing to help a friend out. The same goes for professional advice: Often times when you need specific advice on in specific areas, chances are that you could find someone to give you their expert opinion on it and vice versa.

The final (and favourite) implication of the definition is that you actively and passively participate in building a community of individuals who might have otherwise never met but that still support one another.

Want to try spend a day at Turbine’s Coworking space? See our offers here or email us on hello@turbine.mu

In view of our mission to help our incubated start-ups geared up with the best practices, tools and advice from experts, Turbine held a workshop on the Introduction to Digital Marketing. We were honored to have Noor Sheriff, the Digital Marketing Executive of ENL Property,  as our guest speaker, accompanied by Bénédicte de Comarmondthe Communication Manager of ENL Property.

Digital Marketing is a very vast field which is constantly updating. This term frightens many, however, after this workshop, the objectives and context of Digital Marketing was not only clear and easy to understand but also fun!

Noor broke down the components of Digital Marketing step by step, sharing with us insights from Digital Marketing Gurus and free tools that we can use to enhance our online marketing. Entrepreneurs are guaranteed to be happy with all the learning we got through this workshop.

The workshop: An Introduction to Digital Marketing

Noor Sheriff, Turbine, Incubator, Workshop, entrepreneurial event, entrepreneurial workshop, ENL Group, ENL Property, Benedicte de Comarmond

Digital Marketing for entrepreneurs and beginners

Ever thought whether having a website will be a good means to connect with your stakeholders? Wondering if it actually works and how? There are a few components in digital Marketing that actually can help you track the performance of your website, identify the active pages on your website, your audience and many more.

One of the tools that permit you to track and understand what is going on your website is Google Analytics.

According to Noor Sheriff “Google Analytics is the first must-have on your website. It is Google’s free analytics tool to measure data from all your website traffic to give you insights.” Google analytics helps you understand your online audience and how your marketing strategies are performing. He explained the various components of Google Analytics, referring to the terms being used and how to best use its features.

Noor Sheriff also explained the concept of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). SEO allows the website to rank top on google search based on various keywords used on various pages of the website. He introduced a few effective free tools such as Yoast SEO and demonstrated how it really enhance the website.

Noor used a few tools to vet the website of our incubated start-ups, giving them real and concrete advice accordingly. He further explained how SEM can be used for adverts. SEM is actually one of the most effective ways to grow your business in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Noor made our incubated start-ups get acquainted to the different ways of conversions using the digital marketing.

Inbound Marketing which involves content and context forces one to be client centric. Nowadays, in order to compete, a business need to be different and provide as per clients’ demand. As per Noor,  inbound marketing is focused on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in a customer’s buying journey, empowering the customer.

Digital Marketing is not so complicated after all

To be honest, this workshop went on for more than 3 hours without any break, it was that intense and fun. The above mentioned topics were not the only ones that we covered, there were also Google Adwords, CRM etc. Noor not only tackled each question of the start-ups but also gave a lot of tools, insights and advice. Each person who attended this workshop is sure to have grasp the context and we can see that our start-ups have already started to work accordingly.

Seeing the importance, intensity and quality of this workshop, Turbine wishes to extend it to other entrepreneurs and digital marketing intrigues in Mauritius. Let us know if you wish to attend the workshop.

Drop us an email on hello@turbine.mu with reference to Insightful introduction to Digital Marketing workshop.

 

Mauritius Conscious, Mauritius, Startups, Fundkiss, Digital Marketing, Turbine, Incubator

 

 

 

 

 

Turbine proudly hosted the Digital for change summit which was organized by the Digital Marketing Mauritius. This event had for purpose to share knowledge on digital transformation, promote the creation of a network of digital marketers and encourage entrepreneurs and individuals as well to make the best use of digitalization.

Digital Marketing Mauritius

The Digital Marketing Mauritius was launched in 2017 by Jason Bholanauth and joined later by Madevi Subramanian, Dylen Citta, Jemilla Greedharry, and Pahlavi Tilloo. This group of dynamic digital marketers started with the vision to provide a platform of knowledge sharing and learning about Digital Marketing since this field is still new and vast, constantly changing and interesting.

Digital for change Summit

The event was well received by the audience, there were a total of 184 registrations. We were honored to have 3 inspiring speakers who shared with us their experiences.

 

Natacha Emilien, Red Dot, Turbine, Business Incubator, Coworking

Natacha Emilien, the Co-founder and Managing Director of Red Dot, shared with us how in her quest of satisfaction and self fulfillment. She changed her career path from engineering to accounting. After 13 years as an employee, she is now an entrepreneur who is much more happy, with the feeling of being free and having a bigger purpose. She encouraged the audience to go forward and try things, the first choice may not be the right one though the experience is worth it.

 

Turbine, Quantum, Business Incubator, Digital Transformation

Chen Hindi, General Manager and Head of digital at Quantum, explained how the various tools of digital marketing can be exploited for more concrete information and thus better strategic decisions. She also believes that despite the lesser response rate, email marketing retains people who are genuinely interested and give their undivided attention to the mail while they read. Chen gave some foolproof examples of companies who are successful through digital marketing.

 

Sean Fourmacou, Digital Transformation, Turbine Business Incubator, Coworking

Sean Fourmacou, Founder of YouthSceal, brought another aspect of digital marketing: a platform to sensitize people and address social issues. He explained that social media allowed him to reach the mass population whereby his messages were heard, seen through videos and people could connect and engage. Sean learnt how to make use of digital marketing to meet his purpose. He showed the various actions that have been done by YouthSceal which were very impressive. Sean also encouraged the audience to make best use of digital marketing so as to connect people and get things done for a better society.

The feedback that this event received was very positive. each person who attended this event learnt at least 3 new things. The dynamic interaction that followed between the speakers and the audience after each presentation showed the intensity and success of the event.

What is next?

Follow Digital Marketing Mauritius on Facebook and stay tuned for their next event.

Turbine incubator is making sure that our incubated start-ups have all the up to date information and tools needed to better prepare them. In that view, our 5th workshop for our incubated start-ups has been Cash flow and Budgeting.

The Guest Speaker

Jean Roland Béchard, Director at KPI Chartered Accountant and Associates Ltd and Financial Director at Early Birds Consulting Services Ltd. JRB is an expert in reinventing finance and accounting to promote innovation. He helps companies on their annual report and advises on their business platform and financial strategies.

The workshop

From the various types of budgeting to the items we need to consider, JR Béchard explained the whole concept of budgeting.  He emphasized on its importance and benefits which are to better attract investors, have clear sales goals, better decision making, tax preparation, liquidity and line of credit.

JR Béchard also explained cash flow and used case studies to make it simpler. He showed our start-ups tools to use, such as the “youngentrepreneursltdfinancials.xlsx” doc he prepared which makes it easier to record and process the cash flow. He explained that there are however many cash flow problems; poor business management, poor inventory, decline Sales, no KPI, poor credit and debtor management. 

He mentioned “Business Reengineering and Rescue”which can reiterate a business cash flow issues. This includes to identify and analyse  potential problems or current ones and tackle them. Although, the business reengineering and rescue depends mainly on the management and normally they may take too long to identify, analyse and implement the changes needed to save a business in distress.

Accounting is no easy task but remains essential. All entrepreneurs, even if you may employ an accountant or get help, it is a must to understand the concept of accounting. Here is an article JRB recommends reading.

Turbine is happy to see women taking the lead in businesses. We have with us Valerie Imbert, a woman entrepreneur who proves that entrepreneurship is genderless. Valerie is an ROI marketing strategies expert with the skills of deriving and fully implement budgeted marketing and communication action plans. She is also the managing director of Europestone Management, a company offering creative brand strategy, targeted public relation and marketing structure.

Valerie shares with Turbine her experiences as an entrepreneur, a woman and a mother.

A woman entrepreneur’s journey

Hello Valerie. 

  1.  Tell us why you have chosen to become an entrepreneur.

I am a person who is very project-base. I like to do things differently, be challenged and meet new individuals. I chose to be an entrepreneur 2 years ago because the previous business model of being a manager or director in an organisation was no more convenient to me. I have 3 years cycle in different companies and then i was always bored by my job. I decided to change business model – big jump for someone like me who was quite afraid of various insecurities and who was a very corporate person. To be honest, I am very happy of this move!!!

  1. Describe one day of your entrepreneurial life. 

My morning routine is as follows; I wake up at 6 am, drop my son to school at 8 am, go to the gym up to 9 am. At 9:30 – 10 am, I start working. I have a lot of meetings with clients, spend a lot of time on the phone negotiating and juggling between clients of completely different fields, and/or do marketing/administrative work on my laptop. I usually either have a rapid lunch or a business networking lunch. I finish working around 4:30-5pm so as to be home for my 8 years old son homework. 6 pm is the start of play time with my 2 years old daughter up to 8 pm when both of them go to bed. Sometimes, I need to work 2 or 3h more after dinner but most of the time, i spend my evening with my husband, chilling out.  

  1. Is it convenient to be both an entrepreneur and a mother? 

200% convenient. All mothers should be entrepreneur ! lol. Even if you need to have this state of mind but being an entrepreneur allows me to have flexible time and when you are a mother, you need to be able to master your time. Being an entrepreneur allows me to go and fetch my son after school and have an ice cream with him or a half day fun, and then work after dinner to catch up. I can handle all the tasks of the house, do the shopping, have personal time for my sport or wellness. i would never be able to do all this if I was an executive working 7 am-8 pm. I feel that every single hour of my day is optimized and I can fully benefit from both my work and family.  

  1. Will you encourage other women to start their business? 

A big YES for all the above reasons. and also because i think that women are very organised and skilled to be entrepreneurs. Many women lack confidence in themselves unfortunately. Mauritius is still a very ‘macho’ society where we need to stuggle. I now have the choice to work with whom i want: that’s a real freedom.     

  1. What does Turbine’s co-working bring to you and your business?

Turbine has been very interesting for me. At first I was working from home and this was not so convenient with the kids. Turbine has allowed me to really separate my private life from the professional one. When i host my clients at Turbine, it is more serious and convenient than at home.

The nature of my activities allows me to be able to work in an open space – we don’t need archives, we do not have confidential documents, everything is dematerialized. Having a staff also, i wanted her to have a social life and colleagues in a good atmosphere. I chose Turbine also initially because it was 2-5 mins from my home – school – gym and supermarket. This village-lifestyle created by ENL is fabulous in moka.  

Also, Turbine co-working has allowed me to have 2 new clients!

  1. How did you and your employees feel working from Turbine?

Turbine has a very nice atmosphere. We are leaving because my family is moving to the north of the island but I do not think that I will find a better place – which is also very good value of money. I would highly recommend Turbine, i currently recommend and will continue to do so. 

Thank you Valerie! We wish you all the very best in your endeavors and keep inspiring others in your journey!

We proudly collaborated with the US Embassy Port-Louis on the GIST TechConnect  event – a live webchat on Fintech: The Future of Finance, on the 12th of June 2018.

The aim of this live webchat was to allow people, especially entrepreneurs, to learn how their startup can benefit from fintech through a series of questions on Financial Technology, from giving and receiving payments to getting loans and managing your financial accounts and how they can apply its knowledge in their business.

The Fintech Revolution

Financial technology is by far one of the biggest transformations going on in entrepreneurship. Fintech is technology that allows a company to better shape its financial aspects.

Blockchain is a Fintech innovation which will allow companies and individuals to directly manage contracts and transactions. Mobile technology, biometric information, machine learning and more, are making financial transactions not only easier and cheaper but also faster and more secure.

Fabrice Boullé, David Reimer, Paul Stempler, Diane Maigrot, Fintech, Finance, US Embassy, Turbine

Bestowed with the presence of the US Ambassador David Reimer,  the US Embassy staff, Turbine, Red Dot and 60 Fintech curious participants, the live webchat started at 6 pm sharp. Along Mauritius, a few other African countries joined in the live webchat.

Miles away in the United States of America, two Fintech experts sat for 1 hour to answer questions on finance and its future;

Dale Nirvani Pfeifer,CEO & Founder, GoodWorld, social media payments company that makes charitable giving frictionless, viral and secure and works with over 3000 of the world’s top charities.Goodworld was recently named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies and a World Changing Idea by Fast Company magazine, one the Fast Growing Companies in Washington DC, and won a Timmy award as DC Best Tech Startup in 2016.

Viktor Brandtneris, Owner, Brandtneris Consulting Group Inc,  started his career in financial and strategic planning roles in the computer industry with IBM & Computervision. He subsequently co-founded a start-up in the financial services industry with responsibility for daily operations, investor reporting and regulatory compliance.He is active in consulting and coaching early stage companies employing the Business Model Canvas, and is a National Science Foundation’s I-Corps instructor.

Fintech is disrupting the traditional banking industry.

A few questions were raised on whether traditional banks will disappear with the new fintech services.

We all know that the banking sector has reduced their borrowing and how difficult it is for SMEs and start-ups to successfully access finance. With the rise of FinTech entrepreneurs delivering innovative products and services, the gap between banks and SMEs and start-ups can now be significantly reduced. By acting intelligently and making best use of the available Fintech innovations, entrepreneurs can now expect greater flexibility, price, transparency, access and convenience from banks. Even banks will have to be compliant , though major banks might survive.

Fintech is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to benefit from various existing and upcoming programs since major banks will have to build adapted programs in order to keep going. Other opportunities may also include partnerships with large commercials and the big banks.

David Reimer, Fabrice Boullé, Turbine, US Embassy, Fintech, Finance

The main questions asked on Fintech

There were many other questions such as

1) can alternatives of credit cards be an app allowing people to pay through purchase orders and others, since in many countries people do not have access to credit cards

2) blockchain evolution

3) how to adapt with this digital movement going on

4) whether crowd lending and crowd funding is a legitimate source of financing for start-ups.

5) can Fintech play a role in developing economy.

6) how can Fintech facilitate international money transfer

7) how can a social entrepreneur integrate fintech in their venture.

We recorded a Facebook live of the webchat. Do check it out here on our Facebook page to learn what the experts had to say about the above questions!