TTT #7: "Let's Talk Business" with Yuliana Topazly

Entrepreneurship Sep 16, 2019

Yuliana Topazly's journey began as curiosity and observation turned into action. She saw her father's business specializing in recycling grow and observed the harsh and pleasant sides of the same. She contributed in whatever ways she could. Her father was critical: he did not praise her efforts. Instead, he pointed out errors, questioned what she did. At that point, it did not go well with her. But looking back, she feels that a practical experience intermingled with honesty so early on has proved to be beneficial in all her endeavours.

Despite this, she did not enjoy the privilege of a supportive parental environment. She was often restricted into a monotonous and structured background, and disrupting that flow was not welcome. However, she could not reject the opportunities she came across on exploration in the UK and made a hard decision for herself. And while her father did not take her seriously then, eventually, after her business developed, he came around.

Going against an established set of norms involves uncomfortable conversations and tough decisions. But at the end of the day, your success while disobeying those norms can help mould them.

Often, business is associated with selfish pursuits, and its perceptions vary across individuals and cultures. While it is true that some might limit business to being money-oriented, it is a necessity that often drives an entrepreneurial mindset. Her enterprise, a business centre with child care provision, for example, was the result of a need too. It tackles the lack of an accommodating workspace for mothers and supports them through free training and support services. More pragmatically, SMEs in the UK make for over more than half of all jobs generated and contribute immensely to the economy. Therefore, even if for economic development, there is a definite need for businesses to come up.

Entrepreneurship is not only about advancing one's company. It is the creation of a mindset, the way you picture things and approach your daily life. In the end, it all stems down to making a difference in your community and contributing while making a difference to yourself as well.

Wherever you are in the world, look for opportunities that encourage you to think in practical business terms.

You do not have to do the whole idea at once. Break it down into small projects. Do something. Start somewhere and see what kind of response you get.

And do not confine yourself to defining entrepreneurship in limited terms. View it as the holistic area it is!


Ritika Singhal

Along with Zubair Junjunia

Senior year student passionate about social justice and inclusive reform | she/her