We recently caught up with graduate Raudhah Nazran who studied LLB Law at Essex and graduated in 2019. Raudhah shared with us an inspiring insight into the world of social entrepreneurship and her tips on overcoming obstacles.
Before I went to Essex, at the age of 18, I started a charity in Malaysia. I've always loved giving back to communities. Then when I went to the UK, I learnt all about social entrepreneurship through Enactus.
I actually got into Essex through clearing, and while it wasn’t my first choice, now that I look back, it should have been. I really miss being a student.
At the very beginning of my Essex journey, I went to the Fresher’s Fair - I spoke to 20 different societies trying to find one where I fit in. I started out as a project leader for Enactus and moved up the ladder becoming President. Essex helped me to understand what I wanted to do after I graduated and gave me the practical skills and knowledge for how to make that dream a reality.
Until recently, social entrepreneurship as a concept was not well known in Malaysia, but now it has started to immerse itself into the ecosystem. I came to Essex not knowing what a social enterprise or social entrepreneurship was about. But when I joined Enactus I fell in love with it - it's now my day-to-day job as the founder of Accelerate Global. I love what I do, and I have Essex to thank for that. If I had gone to any other university, I wouldn't have ended up where I am today.
At Accelerate, we run career and entrepreneurship upscaling programs for the under privileged or marginalized groups in Malaysia, particularly the youth. When the pandemic hit last year, we were in a very unique position in that we were providing programmes to combat unemployment at a time when unemployment was rising too. We were given the opportunity to work with the Ministry of Education to run our entrepreneurship program with 100 low-income youths. I was so proud to work with the Ministry presenting our work. It was a difficult year, but professionally we were growing as a business.
I would say that this whole year has been my proudest moment – we’re facing more obstacles and difficulties so I don’t want to say my proudest moment is when I’ve achieved the most, our proudest moments in life should be the point when we are struggling but we still continue. Essex taught me that – to stand on your feet when you face adversity.
I’d say the most difficult part is actually starting your business. With Accelerate, I bought myself a one-way ticket by registering my company one day. I didn’t have a solid business plan, I didn’t know who my clients would be, and I didn’t know where the funding would come from but I just thought “If I don’t do this, I’ll keep putting it off. Stop overthinking and just sit down to write a business model.”
From then on, I felt a sense of responsibility not just to myself but the responsibility of wanting to follow through with helping others. The thing that keeps me grounded is that sense of responsibility – to ourselves, my employees, our beneficiaries and to God. We owe it to ourselves to be the best versions of ourselves every day.
We realised after two years of running Accelerate that there are a lot of youths out there looking to enrol in our programmes remotely whilst learning at their own pace. After having tested our business model and validated our programmes, we thought it’s time to scale our impact. It’s time for us to build our e-learning platform and roll out our 1:1 business model. For us to be able to do this, we have launched a 90-day investment fundraiser. Watch this space!