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Santander Start-Up Flying Success!

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Abdirahman Rage tells us about how his Santander Start-Up Award helped to get his aviation consultancy business off to a flying start.

What did you study and are you a student or graduate?

I studied Aviation Technology with pilot studies and I graduated last year.

How much money did you receive for your start up business and what is the business called?

We received £500 from Santander University Entrepreneurship Award and the business is called Wibdi Aviation Consultancy.

Can you tell me more about the business?

Wibdi Aviation was initially set up to combat the pilot shortage in the Far East. To begin with back in August 2016, we emailed over 300 airlines all around the world. Ten of them got back to us and one of them offered us a contract and ever since then we’ve grown. We’ve got the most amount of airlines in our inventory and we recruit approximately 30 pilots a year to Chinese airlines and other South East Asian airlines.

What impact did the cash award have on your business and what has it enabled you to do?

It really helped us get off the ground especially with the web hosting, being able to buy the domain, paying for our emailing service because without emails there’s be no way we would be able to contact pilots in Venezuela, Brazil, all around the world and it’s also helped us pay for the first month of our office rent and since then it’s been the foundation really for getting Wibdi off the ground.

What impact did the cash award have on you?

The fact that somebody else had the belief in our business really resonated with us. For Santander and the University to provide us with¬£500 where nobody else was providing us with any kind of funding capital really,really boosted our confidence and was really like a kick start for the entire business itself and it’s helped us get off the ground.

Can you tell me a bit about the Santander Entrepreneurship Awards? What is it and what was your involvement?

So the Santander Entrepreneurship Awards is an award system set by Santander around universities around the country and they’ve partnered with Salford University to find entrepreneurs that want to take their businesses off the ground. Our involvement was we applied, I think it was around about September/October time, to audition in November and then by December we had a reply back from Santander and the University to say that we were successful and we received that first batch of funding and that’s again paid dividends because we’ve been able to get ourselves off the ground.

What have you learned about yourself during the process of applying for this cash award and using it to develop your business?

It really helped us nail down who we really are, what we’re about and what we want to do. It also helped us, especially the help that we received from the enterprise team such as Justyna, she helped us nail down what we actually want to do in the future and also setting goals that wouldn’t have us wondering around aimlessly. Once we had to apply for the funding we had to get ourselves in gear and that was one way again of being able to build the foundations indirectly in a way to help get Wibdi off the ground.

What support did you receive from the University of Salford when applying for and using your award?

We received a lot of support from the enterprise team,especially Justyna, she was like our account manager when it came to helping us out. She really helped us prepare for the pitch, she went over all of our presentations, she helped us with the Santander Entrepreneurship semi-finals and without her help and the support of the other enterprise team we wouldn’t be in the position that we are today.

What would you say to someone who was thinking of applying for a cash award?

Do it! You’ve got absolutely nothing to lose. If they say yes you’ve got a fund, if they say no you’ve learnt something, got some positive feedback and you can move on forward and then hopefully apply later in the year.

How did you find the process of applying for the award?

It was very straightforward, there was a simple form on the University website. It took about 10 minutes to apply, we did have to put some thought into why we should be selected for the funding. It was very, very straightforward it’s just like any other form.

If you could thank Santander for the opportunity they have provided what would you say?

I’d say thank you very much, without your support we wouldn’t be where we are today. I’d like to thank especially Justyna, Jade Littlewood and Lauren as well for all their support throughout our year and a half of trading and yeah thank you very much.

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