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Supa Campus

Supa Campus is a 12-week business development boot camp that offers 50 entrepreneurs mentoring, business support and industry expert advice while being based out of our brand new, Tintagel House.

Supa Campus

The Supa Campus program is specifically designed to support entrepreneurs to scale and sustain their business. Each week of the programme focuses on a different theme such as marketing, finance or recruitment etc. with guest-experts providing advice and guidance. The following blog posts document what our residents took away from the masterclasses provided each week and how they’re implementing this new info.

Bejay– Supa Campus, Head co-ordinator

Week Four – Human Resources

Week four was all about humans. The talented people we look to hire who will ideally, understand our business vision and provide us with their time and effort to help our businesses grow successfully. The people we hire greatly impacts our businesses for better or worse so, making the right decisions or doing everything you can to do so, is imperative.

We had the lovely Michelle Coventry from 5AI come to Tintagel House to spend some time and share some wisdom with us. She’s hired thousands of people over the years and it was really interesting to hear her perspective. We went through some useful processes that help in streamlining the hiring process as well as arm us with the best possible tools to hire but also maintain a healthy relationship with our teams at this crucial stage of scaling our businesses.

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Supa Campus Resident feedback

Jintana - Aequil

What have you taken away from HR week?

I really enjoyed this week’s talk, probably more so than the other talks because it was not as process driven and focused on technical aspects such as legal or finance.  Instead, Michelle’s talk was all about people. This resonated with me because my brand is about people and human connections. So, for me, this was a very emotional session. I prefer the emotional side of business because I understand how important human connections are to drive the business, people and customers.

How will you implement the lessons you’ve learned?

I’m already putting Michelle’s words into practice.  I’m about to get on a call to one of my team in which I will use some advice that I discussed with Michelle. The company is growing, and there are five of us working on it at the moment. It’s important that we all have a unified strategy to harness our energy and keep the momentum going.

Has HR been a challenge for you in the past?

I haven’t struggled to foster good relationships as I am a big people person. I believe people can make your dreams happen. What I find harder is the business side of interacting with people. If someone steps out of line or if they’re not getting along with their teammates I find it hard to implement a tough line. So, today’s talk was helpful in showing effective and subtle ways of dealing with that.

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Joey - Upplement

What have you taken away from HR week?

I loved today’s talk and I thought Michelle was a genuinely wonderful woman. I am quite an emotional person and I’m often intimidated by the startup tech scene and its fixation with money and power. Michelle showed me that the industry is not all like that. She was such a loving and emotional person and that contradicted what I thought a senior figure in the tech industry would be like. So, the main takeaway was that you don’t need to be a lean, mean selling machine to be successful. Instead, you can be a nice, kind person but still achieve your goals. This knowledge helped to relax me and feel more confident about the future.

How will you implement the lessons you’ve learned?

I will start by listening to my gut more and not think or worry too much about what other people say. Plus, I aim to use Michelle’s advice on attacking the things that make you uncomfortable. So, if there’s something in the back of your mind that is constantly niggling,  instead of letting it grow and get stronger and stronger, you have to bite through the sour apple and just address it.

Has HR been a challenge for you in the past?

Not yet for Upplement. At the moment, I’m currently only working with friends and interns, so I don’t have anyone that is officially on the payroll. But as that changes I will introduce Michelle’s idea that Human Resources is an outdated term. Humans are not resources. Resources can be depleted but humans can't be. I want to implement this philosophy and approach within my company.

Odudu - 24/6

What have you taken away from HR week?

Today’s talk really touched on a lot of things that I’m working on right now. One of the biggest things I’ve had issues with is being perfect. I tend to spend a lot of time on lost causes because I don’t like failure. This belief had previously led me to keeping on people who perhaps were not a right fit for my company.  That’s why the concept of ‘hire fast, fire fast’ from today’s talk resonated with me.

Also, the talk changed the perception of how I look at firing people. Michelle introduced the view that you should see it as helping people along their own journey. Plus, anyone you want to let go, it shouldn’t be a surprise. It should be a story where we’ve tried, we’ve maybe had our issues and we both come to the conclusion that it hasn’t quite worked out.

How will you implement the lessons you’ve learned?

Firstly, schedule in time with people working with me to see how their life is. Never mind the tasks. Just have a real human interaction and create a healthy work environment. Plus, I want to set up systems so with any person I have coming in we have a process where I can take care of as many of their needs as I can whilst they’re working here.

Has HR been a challenge for you in the past?

Yes, I’ve had issues with leadership and communication previously. A lot of times, I’ve been very linear in the way I deal with people working under me in terms of tasks. I ask them to do x, y and z tasks and if they haven’t done x then we need to follow a particular protocol. Instead, it may be better to focus on what I can do in terms of environment and the way I speak to them to inspire them to get the task done in a sufficient time. Or, come to me early if you have any issues.  So previously, perhaps I’ve been a bit too black and white in the way I deal with people working for me.