One of the major challenges for any startup is understanding how to effectively to get their brands, products and services out into the marketplace and connecting customers. That’s where marketing and communications comes in, and for South African entrepreneur and marcomms specialist Jolene Roelofse, founder of Bludoor Market, it provided an opportunity to create a solution.
LoA chatted with Jolene Roelofse about her entrepreneurial journey this month and her work to help put other SMMEs on the map.
What does your company do?
At Bludoor Market, the focus is on Marketing & Communications strategy development and implementation, together with business strategy development, audit and best practice processes implementation. We also offer marcomms workshops for SMMEs and entrepreneurs.
"What inspired me to start my company was having the freedom to innovate and work with entrepreneurs, share in their passion and see their ideas flourish."
What inspired you to start your company?
It was having the freedom to innovate and work with entrepreneurs, share in their passion and see their ideas flourish.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
I have an MBA qualification obtained from Copenhagen University in the field of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. This enables me to look at my clients’ businesses holistically and come up with a plan that will have an impact on all aspects of the business and not in isolation of the other business units.
"I am a firm believer in experiential marketing and that consumers buy into a product or services once they have experienced it."
Tell us a little about your team
At the moment, my team consists of 1 person at the moment, me! With over 10 years experience in Marketing and Communications, I am a firm believer in experiential marketing and that consumers buy into a product or services once they have experienced it. This is made possible through unique and innovative experiences. At Bludoor Market, this is what we focus on and create for our customers.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. It has always been part of my DNA, and this was reflected in the way in which I approached projects when I was in the corporate world. I was always trying to find additional ways of attracting revenue for companies, different ways of working to optimize time, and new ways of working with teams. It was the main reason for selecting to do my MBA in Copenhagen, given the fact that entrepreneurship is at the root of teaching in the Scandinavian markets. I started Bludoor Market in 2010, a year before I left for Denmark to do my said MBA, and started doing communication strategies for start-up companies. Upon my return from Denmark in 2012, I fell back into corporate, but my heart was never really in it. It was while I was on maternity leave that I entered and got selected for the Tony Elumelu entrepreneurship programme. I spent 3 days in Nigeria on a bootcamp with 1000 other African entrepreneursand it was then that I knew I was on the right journey. I followed my heart and am loving every minute of the journey.
"I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. It has always been part of my DNA, and this was reflected in the way in which I approached projects when I was in the corporate world."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
To be able to hire two staff members by the end of 2017 and grow the company to have at least five retainer clients on the books.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Seeing positive results for my clients.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Follow your heart, know it is going to be tough and be prepared for those tough times, but remember to enjoy your entrepreneurial journey.
Contact or follow Bludoor Market
Why LoA loves it….
Knowing and understanding the challenges and opportunities on any entrepreneurial journey is key to helping other startups, and in the case of Jolene Roelofse, founder of Bludoor Market, she is harnessing her own personal experiences to provide insights for others. By guiding other entrepreneurs on their brand building and marketing journeys, she is making a real difference. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa