Entrepreneurship Day & its Significance

Christian Buchholz

Chief Innovation Officer and Co-Founder of myZoi

Today, on the 21st of August, World Entrepreneurs Day, I would like to talk a little bit about my entrepreneurial journey which began when I stumbled upon a camera. This camera soon became my companion on a journey to capture emotions, portraits, and movements. Eventually, I managed to turn my skill and unique perspective into a commercial venture working as a photographer during the 90s and early 2000s.

However, the true essence of entrepreneurship, with all its challenges, responsibilities, and profound understanding, came to light when I joined SC Ventures as a design and innovation coach. My role was focused on delivering human-centered design workshops across different geographies, which led me to travel through South-East Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

During my travels, I had the privilege of personally interacting with underbanked and low-income migrant workers in countries like the Philippines, India, Bangladesh, and the UAE. The insights and experiences gained from these interactions were inspirational. I was deeply moved and inspired by their unwavering commitment to their families and their remarkable optimism in the face of any challenge. I was surprised to hear how they worked so hard and then sent up to 80% of their income back home, leaving very little for personal use, let alone having savings!

I was moved when speaking to my housekeeper and hearing that she sends funds to her husband in the Philippines to further distribute it to the rest of the family, but never knowing if her mother receives it. These personal stories left a lasting impact on me, and made me think about how one can solve this problem?

At the end of 2019, after a lot of research and talking to migrant workers, I had an idea which has now turned into myZoi. I called my friends and our now Co-Founders, Shahnawaz Rouf, and Nabid Hassan, who were living in Bangladesh, who both liked the idea and decided to put together a concept paper and pitched our idea, myZoi, to SC Ventures. We were excited to hear that after multiple challenging sessions and further research, our idea was given the permission to go ahead. That moment marked a turning point in our lives. We had the funding, the idea, and the passion, but we were faced with the challenge of prioritizing our investments. We didn’t know where to start! How could we create a compelling proposition that was commercially viable and appealing to the low-income segment? How could our idea enable financial inclusion and stand out in a crowded market of payment providers and remittance solutions? Our other Co-founders, Arsalan Siddiqui, and Syed Ali, joined us during this period and, like us, were passionate about the idea we wanted to move forward.

Driven by our vision, the founding members packed up and moved with their families to the UAE to pursue the idea. From that point on, there was no looking back. I have always heard that the UAE was a place for supporting startups and that it offered a business-friendly environment, making it easier for entrepreneurs to set up and operate their businesses. However, having experienced it first-hand left no doubt that we made the right choice to have the UAE as our first market and as our base! Fast forward 1.5 years later, we now have myZoi—an innovative fintech proposition attracting initial interest and soon going into public beta. I get asked a lot what myZoi means. Zoi stands for “life” in Greek and with myZoi, we aim to promote financial inclusion not only in the lives of the migrant workforce but also in the lives of their families. The entrepreneurial journey is never easy; it demands grit, commercial acumen, building an amazing team that believes in the vision and purpose, the willingness to take risks, bold decision-making, and at times, making unpopular choices. But above all, the most crucial trait an entrepreneur must possess is unwavering belief in their idea.
It is a non-negotiable ingredient for success in any entrepreneurial endeavor.
As we celebrate World Entrepreneurship Day, I want to encourage everyone to embrace their entrepreneurial spirit and embark on their journey with passion, resilience, and an unyielding belief in their dreams.
Make a lasting impact with your idea.

Happy World Entrepreneurs Day to all the dreamers and doers out there!

Find this blog on LinkedIn

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/some-thoughts-world-entrepreneurship-day-christian-buchholz%3FtrackingId=5vaz5m1GSZ5KIfRaKvsPHw%253D%253D/?trackingId=5vaz5m1GSZ5KIfRaKvsPHw%3D%3D

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