Eloise Skinner is an entrepreneur, author and existential therapist. She is the founder of two businesses: One Typical Day (an ed-tech start-up), and The Purpose Workshop (a social impact consultancy). Eloise Skinner studied Law at Cambridge University and trained at Oxford University Business School. Having practiced as a lawyer in the city, and after some soul-searching (including a year training in a monastic community!), Eloise followed her passion into entrepreneurship.
Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?
I started my career in corporate law, after studying Law at university. But after a few years of practice, I started to become interested in other fields, including social impact and education. My companies both focus on the idea of finding a meaningful path in life and work. One Typical Day, my ed-tech start-up, helps students figure out what to do for their first careers. The Purpose Workshop, my social impact consultancy, helps individuals and students navigate a sense of purpose.
How did the idea come to you for the company?
The idea for One Typical Day was a direct response to feedback from my audience of young professionals and students. As an author, I’d already been writing for (and receiving feedback from!) these individuals, and I could clearly see there was a gap in the market. Young professionals were going into their first careers without a realistic idea of what to expect, and internships / work experience placements were getting harder to obtain. One Typical Day is a solution to that problem.
How did you achieve awareness?
We’re early-stage, but we’ve had a lot of support from our audience, and we’ve been featured across major business publications. We also have a lot of support from our incubator, at Oxford University.
How have you been able to gain funding and grow?
We were introduced to early-stage investors at the very start of our journey, and we’ve been very fortunate to have their support during the process!
What are the key successes?
Hearing feedback from students, corporates and universities about the potential impact of the platform, and making steps to improve social mobility and sustainability in the graduate recruitment sector.
What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?
Introducing students to a new platform is always difficult – everyone has their preferred ways of getting information, and it’s hard to break through with a new offering. But word of mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tools, and we’re aiming to make a product so good that students can’t help but recommend it to eachother!
What are your plans now/for the future?
We’d love to make real, lasting change in the fields of social mobility and sustainability within graduate recruitment. Our intention is to scale as much and as fast as we can to achieve this!
What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?
To make sure you’re creating something people want (and not just the people within your own personal network!). Fast, accurate, real-time feedback from your potential customers and clients is the most supportive tool on the journey.
Can you share your top tips for entrepreneurial success?
Resilience, passion and purpose. Resilience is essential, because there will be lots of ups and downs during the process! Making sure to have a steady sense of determination is important, and not to take things too personally. Passion will be your driving force – you have to be genuinely interested in the problem you’re solving, and the changes you’re seeking to make. And purpose is your foundation: this is the real reason why you’re choosing to do what you’re doing.
Who are the 5 people who inspire you the most and why?
I’m hugely inspired by the team at Oxford Business School, and by my fellow entrepreneurs on the Oxford Innovation Incubator. And I’m inspired by other entrepreneurs in the social impact space, including initiatives like Hatch (for social impact entrepreneurs) and Year Here. And, of course, by my family and friends!
What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?
I’m a big fan of the work of existential psychologist Viktor Frankl, and one of my favourite quotes is: ‘Between stimulus and response there is a space. In this space is the freedom to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom’.
What are your Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn social handles and also website links so our readers can connect with you?