An ethical, supportive brand
Bianca – who graduated in 2017 with a Master’s degree in Future Media – has thrived since linking up with STEAMhouse Incubator, our business incubation service, and BSEEN, a twelve-month business startup service for student and graduate entrepreneurs.
Thanks to their support, Bianca is now launching a business, an ethical lifestyle brand called Fontein.
The business partners with carefully selected manufacturers to offer ethical traceable products from emerging African economies and the UK, where the products and the people are paid what they are due.
Taking the leap into launching a business
Bianca had always wanted to create her own business, but it took a while before she made the jump.
“I’d toyed with a few networking marketing organisations in the past and I think that gave me some insight into what it would be like to work for myself, but it wasn’t until 2020 that I began to focus on it properly,” Bianca says.
When it came to deciding what area she wanted to focus on, Bianca knew she wanted to create a brand with sustainability as its core focus.
“It has always been at heart of what I wanted to do, even though I didn’t realise it until I began doing more research,” she explains.
“Sustainability isn’t only about the environment – it’s also about people, planet and profit.
You can’t have an impact on one without affecting the other. I wanted to create a business that does not contribute to environmental or human harm but instead uplifts and empowers.”
Connected to a community
In order to help ready Fontein, Bianca sought support from STEAMhouse Incubator, which boasts a range of facilities, expertise and resources to help startups thrive.
“The Incubator is something I would highly recommend,” Bianca beams. “Many entrepreneurs say that the journey is lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s easier to keep going when you’re connected to a network and multiple experts.”
Being part of the STEAMhouse community has not only ensured Bianca is connected to likeminded individuals, it has also provided valuable resources.
“The STEAMhouse team hosts several workshops with a variety of industry professionals to explore the most important aspects of business,” Bianca says.
“The Incubator has also connected me to other valuable entrepreneur support programmes.”
An exciting 2022
Bianca also signed up to BSEEN, which helps aspiring entrepreneurs launch a business.
“The BSEEN programme provides a very detailed boot camp, going through all the elements of starting a business and ensuring you gain the mindset of an entrepreneur,” Bianca explains.
Utilising numerous BCU services has proven invaluable to Bianca and Fontein, and she urges other budding entrepreneurs to make the most of these offerings.
“It does no harm to cover all bases,” she says. “BSEEN, the Incubator and the other networks I am connected to have helped me get to where I am now.”
As for what 2022 holds for Fontein, Bianca is happy with the progress her socially conscious brand is making and hopes to launch the business in the summer.
“Currently, I am working on trying to understand my future customers and the gaps in the market in terms of the type of products they’re looking for,” Bianca says.
“For me, it’s important to use insight to inform business decisions. The next stage for me will be product development, then I will move on to proof of concept to test market viability with the view to launch by summer 2022.”
Looking for more support on turning your business ideas into a reality? Find out more about STEAMhouse Incubator.