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An interview with Amina Nabi of Kinnect2

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by Startacus Admin

We always like highlighting up and coming and leading lights in the entrepreneurial scene and we reckon we’ve stumbled upon a cracker here. But it seems that for some, Amina Nabi, will need no introduction.

Firstly she is the Chief Exec and Founder of recently launched Kinnect2 - the ONLY social media platform, focusing on bringing people and brands together in real time. She was also recently awarded RBS Scottish Asian Woman of the year 2013, is a Saltire Fellow and is an all-round maverick of entrepreneurial activity (phew!).

So with all this in mind, we thought it wise to give Amina Nabi a little Startacus airtime, to find out about her career journey, her business and the wider entrepreneurial Amina Nabiscene in Scotland.

Amina, you have a really interesting career background. It seems that entrepreneurship has always been close to you heart - why do you think that this is?

My inspiration is my Dad, whose journey is far more interesting than mine. To summarise – born in Amritsar (India) pre partition, the youngest and only surviving child of 9, when he was born his mother passed away, migrated to Pakistan, brought up by his uncle, worked and paid for his education and for his dad, step mother and brother and sister from a very young age, came to the UK, worked 3 jobs at a time, studied and balanced a marriage. Upon being rejected for his ask to work with larger clients due to his colour, Dad resigned and set up his own practice, which has now been running successfully for over 35 years.  In short – Legend!

Dad is my muse - my inspiration. After coming back from Boston in 2011, I decided I wanted to follow in his footsteps and try to create a business that will be sustainable with core values at its heart around sustainable giving.

I gave up my job in May 2012 and began the journey to create Kinnect2.

Was taking that leap into self employment / entrepreneurship a natural step for you to take?

I have always felt my purpose in life is to make the most of the time, energy and resources I have to create ripples in whatever ecosystem I chose to focus on. The Saltire Fellowship catalysed my energy and belief that instead of thinking I am going to do this, to lets do this. I love what I do and truly believe it will work, with my family and friends’ support, the journey is just that little bit more rewarding.

Tell us about your startup Kinnect2 - give us a little pitch if you like!

Kinnect2 is an online and mobile social media platform focusing purely on brand and consumer engagement. If you look at Facebook, people use that to share and connect with their friends, people use LinkedIn to grow and connect with their professional networks, people use Twitter as a newsfeed for everything and anything. There is a gap in the market for a social media platform just for brands and brand lovers.  This is where Kinnect2 comes in.

Kinnect2What’s the plans for 2014 for Kinnect2? What would be the ideal situation for you and the business by the 31st Dec 2014? 

2014 will be a huge year for Kinnect2. I am seeking SEED investment to build and grow the company and the team. 

For me, the initial challenge is the chicken and egg, who do you get on board first - the brand or the consumer? If we advertise it as a forum then people will engage with the site in that way, in the first 2 months I have learnt and reacted to the fact that people will come to the platform more so if the brands are active as it shows credibility and willingness that the brand is wanting to listen and engage with their consumers.  Thus I have focused on getting 5 well known brands on board to test out my thesis.

I have managed to convince 2 very credible brands to start using the site, as you will see in Feb. 

Once we get enough traffic and traction and willing brands to share our vision – a very powerful and extremely valuable platform will emerge. 

I know it is a game changer. I know I have to sacrifice much more, I am willing to do that. I am relentless and a bit stubborn, I have set a goal in my mind’s eye and I will ethically do anything to try and achieve this. My family, friends and networks are massive to where I am now. I will deliver.

You were born and raised in Glasgow, so talking more generally, how entrepreneurial is Scotland at the moment?

My experience of the entrepreneurial ecosystem is such that I feel as if I have literally been born into it.  Aside from my father being my entrepreneurial leader; organisations like The Saltire Foundation, Entrepreneurial Exchange, Power of Youth and Entrepreneurial Spark have really added so much to this emerging trend of exciting entrepreneurship within Scotland.

My utmost respect goes out to the likes of Sandy Kennedy, Adam Purvis, John Anderson and Jim Duffy who are all contributing to this entrepreneurial renaissance within Scotland.

What piece of advice would you give to someone with an idea for a business, but who doesn't know what to do next?

My advice – Never be afraid to; ask for feedback, constructive criticism, connect, utilise your networks, give and take advice, invest in yourself and your idea, take a risk, ask for help, be yourself, give back, acknowledge when your wrong, learn from mistakes, move on, be a little bit ruthless and always appreciate and respect yourself.

Get in touch with organisations like those mentioned above, if they can’t help you they will know someone who can!Scotland is a small place, it is like one big family, we might only just be catalysing entrepreneurship again but our mannerisms, willingness to share and help one another is embedded within our DNA.

One last ask - please support me by being part of my journey, connect with me, I would love your feedback, sign up to and share with your ecosystem.

We sure will do Amina and we look forward to hearing more about Kinnect2 and your own Entrepreneurial jouney in the near future. 

If you like this article, you might also want to read: 

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Published on: 19th January 2014

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