Startup Corner: Meet BusinessBecause - Work In StartupsWork In Startups

Startup Corner: Meet BusinessBecause

BusinessBecause.com is a global business school news, networking and jobs site, helping applicants to choose a business school and business students(MBAs) to find a job.

Here’s Kate Jillings, the lovely founder of Business Because, talking about her entrepreneurial experience and her future plans.

Kate

Can you please give us some information about your background? Have you previously owned any other startups before BusinessBecause?

I spent nearly 10 years working in marketing roles for big companies including GlaxoSmithKline and BNP Paribas. No I’d never owned a start-up before (in the sense of registering a company and allocating shares) but I have run lots of entrepreneurial ventures such as a student events company whilst I was at university and a medical tourism website in my mid-twenties.

 Can you describe BusinessBecause in one or two sentences?
BusinessBecause.com is a global business school news, networking and jobs site, helping applicants to choose a business school and business students (MBAs) to find a job.

 How did you come up with the idea for BusinessBecause?
I applied to do an MBA in my early 20s and at the time felt there was a lack of good information online. A few years ago my business partner, Maria Ahmed, was doing some work with Judge business school at Cambridge University and the MBAs she met told her that it was difficult to network with MBAs at other school and that there was little media coverage about MBA student life. This gave us the initial idea for a specialist MBA website with magazine-style journalism and personal stories about life at business school.

You started out in 2009, how did the company evolve since then?
Our first website, launched in July 2009, was a magazine site with light-hearted daily editorial. We quickly decided to upgrade this to a network where MBA applicants and current students can join the site, build a CV, search for and message other members and even publish their own content. We built the site from scratch and organically – and we’re still building today! The network now has nearly 15,000 members from around the world and growing fast. 

What about the team? How many people were at the beginning and how many people are there in your team now?
We’ve always had about 8 people in the team – 3 core members who own the business and work full time (MariaSian and Kate) and then about 5 interns who work on web development, journalism and social media. 

What can you tell us about you company culture? What do you do for fun? 

It’s pretty relaxed and informal. The official office hours are 10 – 6 to avoid the London rush hour, although Maria, Sian and I are working/ thinking about work almost continuously. We have members and clients in every time zone so our blackberries are always buzzing. 

What are your plans for the future?
We’ve just launched a similar news, networking and jobs site for engineering students and graduates –EngineeringBecause.com – and we’re about to launch a jobs-oriented site for Asia – CareerBecause.Asia. Our goal is to get all these sites up and running smoothly, with interesting content, growing traffic and ideally some revenue as well!

Do you think working for a small company is better than for a corporation? Why?

Not necessarily. I love some things about a small company – the informality, the ability to make decisions and do things quickly… But I miss the comforts of a big company – the regular pay, the IT support, the holidays! I also sometimes miss the scale, opportunity and resources of a large multinational – I have a very different working life now!

A message for the Work In Startups community
We wish the Work In Startups community good luck – it’s a great niche site for finding interesting jobs and internships in exciting early-stage businesses. If you’re thinking about doing a post-grad business course at some stage – whether an MBA, EMBA or a specialist business or finance Masters, please check out BusinessBecause for information and networking – it’s free to join.

Thanks and good luck with Business Because!

03
Nov 2011
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