How I grew my business during the crisis

Meet fierce Fernando,

A resilient first-time entrepreneur – and his inspirational story.

I arrived in Australia in October 2019, after 15 years of working for big global companies such as Danone and Diageo. Starting a new life is never easy. I felt like I was re-born. It was challenging. I had left my comfort zone.

When I arrived, I would ask myself … I am starting from zero, and in a new country – Did I make the right decision?!

Until one day I decided to fully embrace the change. My life has only gotten better, every day since that day. I decided to work in hospitality. I got a job as a barman on a party boat. I thought to myself “I like parties” – I have worked in the alcohol industry for many years but back then I was the producer. I had never been on the service side.

Life always tests us, right?

Oh boy, did this “new job test me”. I did everything in this role, from setting up the bar, cleaning the boat, washing glasses and also serving people. Serving drinks is so much different to drinking with friends and clients. It was tough, but I asked a LOT of questions and learned quickly.

That was my first lesson in Australia.

Be brave. Trust in yourself. You do what you have to DO!

I did not have all the skills to do a job or task, but I learned. And so, can you. I am not going to lie, but several times (a day) I would ask myself: “what I am doing here?” I used to have dinner drinking the best wines in the most recognized European restaurants and now I am washing glasses?

Now, I look back at those times and laugh. Long story short, I worked in the bar until Jan 1st. The agency that hired me had a misunderstanding with the boat and they canceled the agreement. I was unemployed for two weeks.

That is when I learned lesson number 2:

No one can do anything for you but yourself.

I always wanted to be my own boss.

So I bought a van and started to do removals and deliveries (and any other handy tasks). This was the best decision I made since I arrived in Australia.

I became independent. I now manage my time! I can study and to develop new projects which is the main reason of me being here in Australia and at the Academy of Entrepreneurs. I started looking for tasks on Airtasker (a great Australian peer-to-peer online service platform). My start-up strategy was to hit the market by being honest and creative. I made an ad that said “I am new. I will give you my services at a cheaper price, if you give a winning feedback and referral” I worked for almost free for the firsts two weeks. I gave my best to receive 5 star ratings. And soon I reached my goal! Once I had a shining rating, I was able to start offering premium services at premium rates. I have done everything you can imagine. From deliveries of houses items, painter, carried huge mirrors, assembled/disassembled furniture – the list is never ending.

Lesson number 3:

You can do anything you want.

Where am I now? I have a LOT of customers and they all refer me more customers. I only promote my business on Airtasker. I am happy with my demand.

I am ready to expand my business.

The most useful thing the Academy of Entrepreneurs gave me, is confidence in myself. They pushed me to trust myself and develop new skills. To be resilient. Be brave. Take risks. Believe in new ideas and GO FOR IT!

Be unstoppable like Fernando. #BossYourFuture and become a resilient entrepreneur.

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I would like to address you, on the occasion of greeting you and at the same time informing you that we are always here to serve you with all the support you need, for us as a country (Panama) and the Ministry of Education it was an honor and we thank you for choosing us for the prestigious Course of Entrepreneurs for the benefit of teachers and students nationwide.

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Analista de Cooperación Internacional, Comisión Nacional UNESCO, Ministry of Education in Panana

“Engaging, encouraging, and simply unforgettable! The Academy of Entrepreneurs’ sessions with our community is always full of practical information that can easily be emulated by our partner social enterprises, as AE delivers it with full positivity and enthusiasm. Thank you!”

Samantha Chico

United Nations via the Phildev Foundation

I recognised that I need to make my business as efficient as possible, so I wanted to learn about all the aspects of being an entrepreneur. Academy of Entrepreneurs have opened doors for me to network and have grown my business much quicker than I would have otherwise done.

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It was an honor and a privilege to have Paula Mills as our ISIP Visiting Professor at the Technological Institute of the Philippines.  Her experience, as well as her passion and enthusiasm for social entrepreneurship and creating impact, were impressive and contagious.  Her lessons and insights on Social Entrepreneurship, Technopreneurship, Partnerships and Community, and Mentor Management were incredible and valuable. Thank you so much for generously sharing your time and expertise with us.

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We left everything we had behind with one mission, follow our dreams and make them come true. This is why we created GiveMeCocos, we want to inspire you to live a more conscious life, to be happier and make healthier and sustainable lifestyle choices, bringing tropical vibes into everyone’s life. 

Agustin Eli

Give Me Cocos

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This business that I have started would not have been the same without Academy of Entrepreneurs!

Felicitas Lavenas

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Francois Dujardin-Rey

Crepe Franchise

Academy of Entrepreneurs provided me the network and the tools to transform my ideas into a real business. They have an amazing team which is always in contact with me, helping me solve any problem that I could have. AE is also a very modern organization, because they use a lot of apps and tools that make the overall experience more efficient.

Hatim Alattar

Co-founder and Partner of Hatim Sweets

Academy of Entrepreneurs helped me with many things! They helped me to organise my ideas and establish a way to achieve my goals, step by step.

I also get  a lot of inspiration from entrepreneurs who speak during the Tuesday talks and also from the teachers and mentors during classes.

Martin Rodriguez

Founder of RockNDog