JC Social Media, founded by Jodie Cook when she was 22, turns 6 years old in August 2017. Based in Birmingham city centre, their team of 14 provide social media training and management services to local and international clients, including the likes of Nandos and Mariott Hotels.
Jodie was inspired to start her business after learning about using social media for marketing on a graduate scheme. Equipped with knowledge and confidence, she set about securing clients. Jodie vowed to keep the business simple and focus on the mantra: get clients and do a good job.
Back in 2012, she was invited to be one of the 12 original ambassadors for The Start Up Loans Company. They were all young entrepreneurs who had set up their businesses with less than £1000. They supported the launch of Start Up Loans by being examples of what you can achieve on limited start-up capital. The 12 ambassadors included Carrie Green of the Female Entrepreneur Association, James Eder of Student Beans and Richard Hurtley of Rampant Sporting.
At the first meeting of the original ambassadors, James Caan, Bev James and Duncan Cheatle greeted the ambassadors in London at a roundtable discussion.
Here, each of the 12 shared their stories. They discussed how they had set up their businesses, the stage they were currently at and what their future plans were. Jodie says she was astounded by the level of ambition in the room, as well the incredible businesses her fellow ambassadors were building.
After each had shared their story, the ambassadors were asked how many of them had a parent who had also started their own business. Jodie raised her hand, because her mum has been self-employed for as long as she can remember. She thought there would only be a few people with similar experiences, but to her surprise, 11 out of the 12 ambassadors raised their hands.
Jodie realised that this circumstance isn’t uncommon, and it got her thinking that role models are incredibly important when someone is making the decision to start a business. The role model doesn’t have to be a parent, it could be a friend, a mentor, or even someone in the media.
On this theme, Jodie recently gave a TEDx talk at Aston University where she talked about enterprise education, role models, and the importance of organisation’s like The Start Up Loans Company in preparing new employers of the future.