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Copyright Enterprising Partnerships 2020
Mehak Sheikh
Founder of U-Learn
Website: http://ulearn.org.au/
Graduate of Getting Down to Business 2015

Mehak is graduate of Getting Down to Business (GD2B). She joined GD2B when she was in her second-year studying Psychology at the University of Melbourne. She has now completed her Psychology with Honours degree. GD2B was her first step towards the dream to be a self-employed.

Prior to joining the GD2B, Mehak had developed and delivered programs - such as belly dancing classes for kids; and a photo-voice project - without considering them as an enterprise.

 

In hindsight, Mehak is convinced that the outcome of these programs could have been better, if she knew what she knows now with the help of GD2B.

While still at the university, Mehak and her friend Rachel decided to adopt a frozen yoghurt idea into savoury meals, leading to the birth of their mash potato bar- the idea they brought to GD2B.

 

With no idea how to start a business; minimal experience in the food industry; and no business experience, Mehak and Rachel signed up for GD2B. They hoped that through GD2B, that they would be able to discover solutions to resolve the gaps and challenges in their mash potato bar business idea. Little did Mehak know that this step would launch her deep into the startup world, beyond what she anticipated.

Soon after enrolling into GD2B, Mehak was introduced to a community of other young people who appreciated the challenging entrepreneurial journey and were equally seeking knowledge and resources to develop their startups. Exposure to the contemporary terminologies and concepts of the startup world boosted Mehak’s confidence and interest in Australia’s startup ecosystem.

Mehak was invited by Enterprising Partnerships in 2018 to become a Support Crew member assisting other migrant entrepreneurs to learn the skills of entrepreneurship and to start their businesses. 

 “Before joining GD2B, I wouldn't have known how to speak to other business owners, now I'm comfortable in any networking space I enter”.

 

At a personal level, GD2B ignited the entrepreneurial spirit in Mehak. This gave her the confidence to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams regardless of the idea, financial requirement and limitations associated with her age or business idea. More than the technical skills, her soft skills were also developed quickly enabling her to transfer these to various industries and pursue new initiatives.

"The program made entrepreneurship accessible and a career option for me even though I hadn't studied business and showed me how I can experiment with passion projects/ideas."

As Mehak develops her most recent idea ‘U-Learn’, she confesses to being more confident and focused knowing that she has been adequately equipped and empowered through GD2B.

With the help of her dedicated coach, Shona and the ongoing relationship with Lynda Ford, Mehak formed around her a lifelong support system to journey with her as she explores different business ideas. Mehak now works with two different non-profit organisations for migrant young people and her social enterprise 'side hustle' U-Learn, is growing fast as a conduit between local governments and their relationships with young people.

Mehak said her greatest learning in GD2B, and questions that she passes on to other entrepreneurs she works with is, “What issue does your idea solve?’ and start with why."