SAP 020 – Mwila Mulenshi; on a mission to transform business and career outcomes for young black people

Mwila Mulenshi is a Zambian born Edupreneur and the founder of Success Looks Like You – an organisation with a mission to transform business and career outcomes for young black people.

Mwila is passionate about creating economic empowerment and developing a range of relatable role models for the future generation.

Personal life

“I was born in Zambia, capital city; Lusaka. I came to the UK when I was five”

“My mum and dad are both Zambian and I am an only child.”

“From age seven I grew up in a single parent household but I never let that define me. I have lived in London since I moved to the UK and I am a zone one resident”

Area of expertise

“It has to go back to teaching, education and training. It’s been a consistent theme throughout my career.”

“Everything I have done, whether I was running government programmes or Success Looks Like You, I have always kept the element of training.”

A top-tip that you use to get ahead

“In being true to yourself, the top skill you have to have developed is emotional intelligence.”

“That is understanding how to walk into an environment, read the room, read the people in the room, understand the culture and then apply yourself to the existing environment.”

Lowest entrepreneurial moment

“I had come out of university with a psychology degree, I didn’t know anyone who was a psychologist, I didn’t really know what my next steps were.”

“After two months of sitting around watching TV, my mum just lost it. She sent me out to go and find work. I ended up getting a job at the investment bank; Citi, in Canary Wharf.”

“So, I was seeing all these people who were further along in their careers but didn’t seem satisfied. And, when the financial crisis happened I knew it was time to jump ship.”

“I started volunteering in schools and managed to get paid to run mentoring programmes.

“But, my youthfulness didn’t have the discipline to carry the responsibility.”

“I finally got paid for doing what I love, I was doing it under my own name but because I didn’t have the discipline and the tools to maintain it, I lost it.”

Lightbulb moment

“I knew I was passionate about education and young people but what I didn’t know was that there were big programmes, getting big lots of various government grants.”

“Now I had passion, knowledge and maturity, with these three things, I knew I had enough here to go at it again and make a success of it.”

What’s got you buzzing right now

“Our alternative skills academy, we’re launching in the summer of 2018, first of all as a series of one day events and then a summer school later on in 2018.”

“The alternative skills academy is about bringing people from industries with current, real life, day to day experience of different aspects of a business to come into the academy and teach these skills in a 6-week course.”

Lion’s Den

What’s the best African saying you’ve ever heard?

“I saw one recently that said:

If you’re ugly learn how to dance

This has nothing to do with ugly, replace ugly with whatever is in vogue.”

“If you don’t have what you think is the ‘key skill’, you still have something else, no one is at a disadvantage here just learn what you can do.”

What was holding you back from building your brand?

“I believe that time and preparation have to come together for something to happen.”

“To be honest I think I didn’t have one of the components. So, my time came but the preparation wasn’t there so I guess that was holding me back.”

Which is your social media platform of choice?

“Linkedin, for me, is where I make some of my greatest connections.”

“I think Linkedin a powerful tool that doesn’t get enough promotion amongst young people, it’s big and you should be on it.”

Share one daily routine that contributes to your success?

“I wake up in the morning and before jumping on social media or emails, I have my affirmations and my ‘me’ time.”

Recommend a book for the Tribe to check out

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho a Brazilian author who was homeless before he became an author.”

If you had 24 hours to live, what would you do?

“There are a bunch of people; friends and family, who have made this 31 years of life more enjoyable and the downtimes more bearable. I will go round and tell them how much I love them.”

Words of wisdom

“Regardless of where you are in life just know that it takes time and you have the time. So, there’s no rush to be at the top of your game.

Recognise that every experience, big or small is adding to towards the person that’s going to make that enterprise a huge success.

Connect with Mwila