Page 1


First Issue


June 2009

INTERVIEWS See the face behind Talent An exclusive with the founder of Talent and Apsire 4U

Caribbean Cuizene The Midlands first ever Caribbean buffet


Yellow Custard An aspiring up and coming clothing brand




CONTENTS First issue

June 2009

3 Editor’s note 6 Business News

Latest Business News

8 Business Events

We take a look at some of the coming business events in Birmingham



10 Smartphones

We review some of the latest smartphones on the market, catering to your every business needs

12 Yellow Custard

We talk to the creative mind behind the brand

14 Business Guide

Information and advice on starting your own business



16 Talent

Interview with the face and mind behind the Talent brand

20 Caribbean Cuizene


We look at and interview the businessman behind Midland’s first Caribbean buffet

Editors Note Firstly I wish to thank all those who have helped to make a dream of mine become a reality. Its been a long hard struggle, but we’ve managed to reach the end of the road. To all who were willing to participate and allowed for us to intverview you, I thank you dearly. This pilot is intended to show the potential as to the type of magazine that is needed within the Midlands, in the hopes of showcasing black entrepreneurs, their successes, their losses and the many things they’ve learnt about business along the way. As a black community we need to encourage one another and celebrate as one, as to the many great things happening in our city.

Contributors Those that have contributed to BE Magazine

Muna Ahmed - Radio and Photography Specialist

Darren Authencity - Freelance Photographer

Showingcasing entrepreneurs in the Midlands


Rise in RBS shares

Shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group have risen, after rumours circulated that the Goverment have sold its stake. With Lloyds announcing yet another cut in jobs, 625 people are to lose their jobs, although Lloyds states 300 new jobs have been created in wholesale. Reports claim the Goverment are looking into selling its shares, but have not been confirmed. RBS and Lloyds saw a rise of five per cent on the stock market, which had led to such specualtion.

Black Entrepreneurs said to be increasing

Black entrepreneurs are said to be on the increase, as more ethnic minorities are taking the plunge and becoming their own boss, despite the fact that black people are not seen as a business community. Many have found the internet to be a great tool is drumming up business and a market for their trade.

BE NEWS FLASH The UK’s recession is said to continue until 2012, as figures show UK job market to be at its worst in over 10 years.


Property Market on the up in the Midlands

Midlands housing market is said to be on the mend, but officials say “it could take some time”. First-time buyers are slowly increasing in numbers on the property market as more morgages are being approved. With the recession still affecting the market, buyers are being urged to take advantage of lower prices and affordable morgages in order for the market to recover. Officials state “buyers must take risks now rather than later as the situation could become worse in the future”.

Showingcasing entrepreneurs in the Midlands


UP AND COMING EVENTS Already a business owner or wanting to start your business? If so then these events are the ones to look out for as this month we look at up and coming business events across the Midlands. The Startupslive event is certainly one to consider on 11th June 2009

O2 X Awards The O2 X Awards are back for another year in search of Britain’s best entrepreneurs and small businesses. Now in its sixth year the event is set to be yet another success with three £5,000 prize packages up for grabs. This year there are three main categories, with each winner being presented with £5,000. Where? This event is to be held on Monday 13th July at the O2 Academy, Birmingham. To register your busines visit:

Great Britain Netowrks Great Britain Networks presents the Kando business coaching seminar. Titled ‘Scrambling Octopus or Fast Swimming Eel’ this event presents business owners with a solution to what they Kan Do now to start working less and earning more. The seminar is free but has a limited number of places. Where? The event will be held on Monday 15th June at 6.30pm, Park Plaza Hotel, Nottingham For more information or to reserve a place contact: 01246 822 405

Starupslive Business Networking Event After launching last year, Startupslive knows how important it is to hear real life experiences from real people. In association with Barclays and BT, Startupslive launches this year’s season in Birmingham. Its line-up is said to contain some of the UK’s most successful businesses. What it offers? The event offers practical advice in starting your own business, panel debtes, networking, inspirational stories from fellow entrepreneurs, and why there’s never been a better time to start your own business. Where? This event will be held on Thursday, June 11th at 6.30pm - 9.00pm, Crowne Plaza, Birmingham


Showingcasing entrepreneurs in the Midlands


The top smartphones in business


anaging your business couldn’t be simpler as smartphones vastly become the talk of the market. Mobile manufacturers have reinvented their products to handle your every need, whilst still maintaining the functionality of the mobile phone. Like most things the mobile phone has evolved to match the high demands of consumers. No longer it is common practice to carry a laptop, as most smartphones have the ability to access WI-FI, Email, bluetooth, WAP and office applications. Since the days of PDAs consumers have made no secret about less being more, but it’s the evolution of smartphones that have resulted in such manifest. The issue however is not whether buying a smartphone is the right choice, but rather which one is right for you? To help you make the right choice we take a look at some of the top selling smartphones currently on the market.

2 10


Renowned for its prestigious business phones Blackberry continue its trend as the Blackberry Bold is undoubtedly the best choice by far. Its battery life is commendable and its stylish appearance. Like all other Blackberry’s the QWERTY keyboard allows for quick typing on both emails and all other office documents. There’s also 3G, WI-FI connectivity with fast web browsing, expandable storage and a 2 megapixel camera.

Nokia introduce the E71 set to rival the Blackberry Bold as mobile email is now smarter than ever. Its ultra-slim and stainless steel appearance comes equipped with a QWERTY keyboard perfect for writing, editing and browsing the internet. The Nokia E71 comes packed with built-in GPS, WI-FI, bluetooth, 3G, WAP, expandable storage, Infared and an impressive 3.2 megapixel camera. This is certainly I rival to watch for as the E71 is much more than just a business device.



Showingcasing entrepreneurs in the Midlands


The Apple iPhone 3G is an upgrade to the formidable iPhone and although it may look the same its revamp offers a new take on the iPhone. Changes that have been made include faster web browsing, built-in GPS, iPod player, and high quality vidoes. Its new curves allow for a firmer grip with its shiny back but the downside to that is it could easily be scratched. The camera is still disappointing with only 2 megapixels and with no flash or autofocus, although the applications that Apple provide makes up for and downfalls concerning the iPhone.

The Prada II has long been awaited with the promise of better features and functions. Unlike Blackberry and Nokia, LG opt to combine both business and fashion as its sleek stylish lines match up to its name. With the chic Prada being one of the first touchscreen handsets to hit the UK, all was riding on Prada II to claim back its rightful place amongst the UK market.


3 The people’s choice


keyboard is great to use for both texting and emailing. There’s also an exceptional 5 megapixel camera with flash and autofocus and WI-FI, however the phone does lack built-in GPS.


The multi-touch responds great to even the lightest of touch and the new slide-out QWERTY


Yellow Custard


his is Yellow Custard, an aspiring clothing brand that was established in early 2008 by Antony Adewale Omisore. Orignally from Nigeria, Antony is here to break barriers and overstep boundaries as Yellow Custard is a combination of lifestyle and attitude. Its mission is to make a difference to peoples lives through clothing, whilst bringing a new wave of energy to the world of fashion. What inspired you to start your own clothing brand? Entering business has always been my thing. I set about researching having a clothing brand and what it would take to start one. Since I’ve always wanted to have my own clothing line, I did what ever I had to, to make it happen. Once I got my brand Trade Marked I was able to create an online presence, which allowed for me to further my brand’s name.

“CROSSING THE UNFORSEEN LINE” Since launching your own brand in 2008, what difficulties have you had to face? I’ve faced no real difficulties in establishing my brand, but I know along the way I may do, as expanding any company or business involves alot more


tasks and responsibilites. I say this because in the near future, Yellow Custard plans to Expand. Tell us in your own words the type of brand Yellow Custard is and what it represents? Yellow Custard is a Clothing line and I believe it also represent’s a Brand Name How did the name Yellow Custard come about? I wanted a name that was unique but at the same time catchy. I also wanted to keep people guessing, wondering what it means and what we do. Starting a new business takes a lot of time and hard work, what motivates you to keep going? What motivates me is the responses I get when people actually see my clothing and wear it. It makes me realise that with larger distribution theres growth for my company and brand.

Showingcasing entrepreneurs in the Midlands


What differentiates Yellow Custard from other brands currenly out there?

Tell us your future plans for both yourself and Yellow Custard?

What differentiates Yellow Custard from other brands is that we make t-shirts that stand out although other brands do too, but with Yellow Custard we stand out more, mostly because of our strong unique brand name, style and product quality

That’s Top Secret for Now

In choosing the choice of designs for the logo’s is there a particular thought process that’s involved? My name "Adewale" has something to do with Crown, and only kings wear them.... lol so I had to have a crown in my logo and my brand name "Yellow Custard" which makes it stand out just that little bit more.

Since launching the Yellow Custard website, what kind of responses have you had? I have had quite alot of positive responses and also bad ones too but, regardless of the bad ones I still push hard.

“Yellow Custard is more than an apparel line, it is a way of life, a STATEMENT”

What’s next for Yellow Custard? I plan on opening a store in Nigeria real soon. A new mall is being built which plans to attract alot of new customers looking for that particular edge. Yellow Custard is that type of brand and will fit in well I think, with it being our first store. If successful we plan to open more new stores.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a new business? Research it well and have your business plan and finances right. Also seek advice when needed.

For more information on the Yellow Custard clothing brand visit:

Showingcasing entrepreneurs in the Midlands




ver had an idea that you thought could become a business? Or maybe you’re thinking of going into business with a friend or business colleague? There has never been a better time than now to start your own business, but the thought of starting up on your own can be daunting at times. That’s why BE aims to offer you some advice and guidance that could point you in the right direction.

So you want to start your own business? The first thing you should do when starting a new business is to thoroughly research your market and all other areas, such as legal and financial requirements. Once you’ve looked at all the options and have made the decision to become your own boss, the next step is figuring out where to next.

Getting that financial backing can somewhat be off putting, but with more help becoming available, it couldn’t be simpler. The rest boils down to you having a solid business plan. Before reaching this stage you should already know the type of business you want to setup and whether there’s a market for your type of business. If you’ve covered these vital areas then your well on your way.

What is a business plan you ask? A business plan is the first step to getting your business of the ground. It’s a detailed plan that will act as a guide as to the type of service you will be providing and all the important elements on how your business is put together. Starting a business is both new and exciting but also has its fair share of ups and downs. You will be faced with many challenges and the success of your business will depend on both your attitude and skill.


Showingcasing entrepreneurs in the Midlands


Securing the right financial backing is equally as important as having a great business plan as there is no guarantee your business is likely to make any money straight away.

Everyday a new business is launched and like most things in this world these businesses need money. For the majority of those starting a new business, start-up costs will need to be met first before and kind of profit is seen. Finance available is vital to any new business and you may want to consider all your options first before making a decision.

Who can help you and your business? There are many options available to young people wanting to become their own boss, but which are the ones to really make a difference? You may want to check out what schemes Young Enterprise has to offer in your local area,

The Prince’s Trust or even Start talking ideas as starting points of where you can get financial backing. For many first-time businesses it is crucial to keep a sufficient amount of capital reserved in order that you survive the first few months.

What it could mean to be your own boss? Setting up your business will be a fulltime job and will require your full commitment. If your already put off by such a statement, then maybe being your own boss isn’t for you. Personal sacrifices will need to be made along with a high level of demand on both your physical and mental strength. Starting a business is a life changing event and should not be taking lightly, especially during the first few years of your business.

Already got a business plan? If you already have a business plan, why not get it checked out once more before applying for financial backing. For more information visit:

Showingcasing entrepreneurs in the Midlands





orn out of a simple conversation amongst friends, Talent is now one of the Midlands most pioneering events. Having been run for five yeas, BE caught up with one of its creators and founders, Miss Daniella Genas.

How did the Talent brand come about? When I was at university me and my friend realised that there wasn’t any kind of student talent events, we also found a lot of the Students would stay within their own university grounds, so we thought if we did a talent event and incorporated all of the universities you’d get to make friends and see other peoples uni’s performing, and that’s how it started really. So how long have you been doing the Talent Show? This will be our fifth year now I believe Was it something that just sort of happened or had you been working on launching the Talent show? No, it was like we just decided in September that we were gonna do one and we did it November.


We did a few poster’s, called up the ACS presidents and asked of they had any artist’s. I mean the first one was a bit of a shambles but it was really fun and everyone enjoyed it, so we continued doing it. Alot of people may not know this, but your also the driving force behind Apsire4U, tell us a bit about it for those who may not know? Aspire for you is kind of a three tiered company, event management and marketing services to the corporate world, in-house event management, but also training and work-experience opportunities for young people and students. At the moment one of our in-house events is Talent, we’ve kind of took that under our banner. What inspires you to become so involved in your community?

I don’t know really? Growing up there wasn’t alot of things going on for me, in terms of work-experience there wasn’t alot of workexperience opportunities in the area that I was interested in, and the opportunities that were there, were like in big companies making tea. So one of the things that kind of drives me at the moment is making sure that the young people who work with us, get hands-on experience of actually working on events, and by doing events giving the community something to look forward to, somthing to take part in, and take ownership of rather than someone else coming in and not allowing the coomunity to get involved. You also work on other projects is well such as your radio show RnBXtra on NewStyle radio, How important is it to you to have that balance?

Showingcasing entrepreneurs in the Midlands

It’s very hard I don’t really have time much for myself, if I had time for myself I’d probably sleep, but saying that that’s how I like it. For the past few days I’d say have been the most hectic in awhile, yesterday in particular I just did not stop. But I actually prefer it, when I don’t have anything to do I get bored very very quickly and I get irritatedquickly because I’m bored, that’s why I liked being at university because there’s always something to do.

With Talent 2008 being a great success, what can be expect from 2009? More of the same, great artists, we’ve got alot of amazing singers, rappers, dancers, and also this year we’re gonna have vocal coaching sessions and performance coaching. Although alot of the performers have raw talent we’re gonna get a bit of help to ensure this year is of high stands. We’ve got a better stage is well, so visually it’s gonna look a whole lot

better. Slim from MTV Base will be hosting the event this year and you can just expect to have more laughs, as every year we have a comedian. I’m personally really looking forward to it this year What future plans do you have for Talent? 2010 we’re hoping to do a Talent tour, where we take it across the Midlands, and just making Talent bigger and better, and gaining more recognition.

Showingcasing entrepreneurs in the Midlands


Caribbean Cuizene How did the idea come about in opening your own restaurant? Originally we started in Egbaston, but when I went to Bermuda, I saw this idea of weigh and pay at a supermarket. I’ve known Michelle, my business partner for quite



et to be one of Birmingham’s most popular buffet restaurants, Caribbean Cuziene is like no other. Gone are the day’s of going to your nearest Caribbean takeaway, as Cuizene helps set the trend. We caught up with Dave Brown who explains how such a venture came about.

awhile and knew she wanted to setup a business, so I found something that could work”, and that’s basically how it started. We started off as a small takeout, primarily on a weigh and pay system, but what I didn’t want was your typical

Caribbean takeaway so I decided to put it on a buffet style where you come and help yourself, stick it on a scale and pay for what you have. By the time we had the opportunity to come to this location we’d been going almost three years.

Showingcasing entrepreneurs in the Midlands

INTERVIEW Caribbean Cuizene

What motivated you to become your own boss? I still don’t really see myself as my own boss, as I still work as a full-time electrical consultant, so I’m not looking for a quick money spin, I’m looking at long-term. I have a age in mind of when I want to retire, so I’m planning for that and at the same time take as many businesses as I can with me. Do you often try and motivate others in setting up their own business?

As I also work with the youth of my church, I often try and educate the young people about doing their own thing. I always same to them “if you don’t make the grades its not the end of the world”.

“People are pretty negative about doing Caribbean on buffet” There’s other ways you can do things, I‘ve got a degree but I didn’t go the traditional route, I did it my way, and these are some of the things

I try and talk to them about. I often speak to them about being entrepreneurs and doing it yourself. I try and bring them along and show them it can be done. What future plans to you have for Cuizene? Well once the Walsall restaurant is up and running smoothly and can sustain itself as well as this one, we plan to open another restaurant, maybe in Wolverhampton.

Showingcasing entrepreneurs in the Midlands


Business Guru


Designer Entrepreneur Writer

Journalist Photographer




If you think you have what it takes and are interested in working for BE Magazine, or wish for us to advertise, or even feature in BE Magazine then please contact us on: 07944340122 or email us at:

Panel including DJ GCHILD from 1Xtra plus more!


A Community Magazine dedicated to showcasing positive black businesses, its owners, and their successes, whilst entertaining and educating i...

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