Homegrown talent: Obed Yeboah
Shapeways.io is a tech and digital skills learning hub. In September, they launched a free 12-week training programme, Decode my Future, for young people in Islington. Funded by Lift, it aims to help participants gain practical digital skills that could lead to job opportunities. CEO Obed Yeboah tells us how he turned a student project into a thriving business
I moved to Islington from Ghana when I was eight. I’m 29 now and my journey to starting and owning my businesses has been interesting. I attended St Andrew’s Primary School, then City of London Academy. I went on to gain a basketball scholarship in Bristol and attended Leeds Beckett University, where I graduated with a degree in business IT.
During my second year of university, I created an app called CVsnip, which provided a platform for creative students to showcase their project work. One of my tutors was so impressed that he introduced me to a group of investors and, after a few pitches, they invested £10,000. I expanded the app into a jobs portal, which I eventually sold to a leading university. With the support and guidance of charity Business Launchpad, I used this money to set up Shapeways.io.
Eventually, I’d like to open an office in Ghana to support young people who don’t have the ability to go to university or college. I want to help them get the skills needed to access tech jobs nationally. I also plan to expand our services across north London, including to businesses and community organisations, opening small hubs that people can come into.
My advice to anyone wanting to start their own business is that you don’t have to have all the answers or the skills straight away – neither do you need to speak or look a certain way. Just be ambitious, focus on the bigger picture, attend events and speak to people that are interested in what you’re interested in. Be yourself, be
To find out more about Decode my Future and sign up, email firstname.lastname@example.org