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Winner: Our 2016 Scholarship Award Goes To Sydney Dixon

by Francesca Coleman Carr
Scholarship winner

We have selected the winner of our 2016 scholarship award and are delighted to pay $1000 towards Sydney Dixon’s tuition.

Our scholarship was based on a 1000 word essay describing how to take a raw idea and turn it into a successful business.

The world of business can be tough, not only for women, but for anyone that doesn’t come from a background where business and success are valued as viable career paths. I know only too well how difficult it can be for university or college students, trying to pay their way and make a mark on the world. This is why I’ decided to fund this scholarship for anyone interested in entrepreneurship.

Sydney Dixon was chosen as the winner for laying a clear and direct path to success.  She has received $1000 from us to help with her tuition fees and we have offered an internship with us should she ever consider visiting the UK.

If you would like to read Sydney’s essay I have posted it in its entirety below:

The Winning Essay

As a future entrepreneur, I must acquire the drive and intuition to turn an idea into an actual tangible product and then into a business enterprise. I must possess passion and vision to begin the long road of establishing a successful business. It is essential to understand how to develop a conception all the way through the process of applying your business venture to the 2016 marketplace. Using a three step plan covering vision and marketability, business networking, and finding/establishing a loyal client base through advertising and marketing, I plan to do just that. Initially, I would need to conduct market research. I would hire an analyst to assist me in evaluating the established market to determine what the consumers are currently interested in. This would help me discover my target demographic of potential customers. During this step, I would also hire a team of innovators with diverse skill sets in technology and business aspects to work with the varied responsibilities. To create a profitable business, the business owner must be able to delegate properly to ensure that all the components of the startup are being handled correctly. I am inspired by the tenacity and drive of women in the workforce so my initial product for my business would be a commodity that appeals to this demographic. My ideal product would be a shoe device coined Day to Night. My product is a retractable shoe heel that has two settings: a shorter 2” inch for the workplace i.e. the Day, and a higher 4” inch heel for going out to dinner or a party right after work i.e. the Night. The heel could stay at whichever setting the customer prefers for however long they want.

My commodity would appeal to working women who want a shorter, more conservative heel during the day and a higher, flasher heel during the night without having to carry around two separate pairs of shoes. After determining if my product would appeal to the public, my team and I would then begin developing a prototype. Given the planned success of my first product, Day to Night, my business would then begin to carry other fashion accessible products. Secondly, I would assess the preliminary designs for my product to make key policies decisions, including what price to charge, what equipment to order, what manufacturing and distribution companies to use, and how many orders to accept. I would put together a comprehensive business plan that would include all the aforementioned information, a process flow diagram, and estimated initial money output. This step of planning serves to determine whether my business plan of Day to Night would be profitable. I would also obtain a patent to prevent others from selling or exporting my invention without my consent. It would also be beneficial to consider any competing products and how they are being received in the market. I know that my product must deliver greater value to customers or create comparable value at a lower cost, or do both, to succeed in the market. My team and I would constantly work to test and improve my product for consumers.

Business networking would occur at this stage of establishing my business. Without connections to other business owners, entrepreneurs, and businessmen and businesswomen, my own business would not have a fitting chance in staying in the free enterprise system. Networking is a crucial part in building lasting beneficial relationships in your network. Business networking will also serve to begin to establish the credibility of the business, start the generation of referrals, and increase opportunities of business expansion. Next, I would hire an Advertising Team to aid me in determining the best avenues of reaching potential customers. I would utilize their previous experience to find data concerning what type of ads – television, radio, or magazine – would best reach the clientele I am attempting to appeal to. Because my targeted customer base is working women, I would suggest we focus on early morning radio ads and newspaper ads due the women being able to listen to radio on their way into work or browse through a newspaper during any downtime they may have.

The Advertising Team would simultaneously help the Marketing Team determine what companies and backers could become investors. Identifying potential backers and then having these people invest in your business is very smart business move because not only would the new business owner gain funds for their business, they would also be privy to the experience and strengths of the investors. At this phase in my product and business launch, it would be very beneficial to take advantage of social media as part of advertising and marketing. Every day people around the world become increasingly more connected, tuned into the interacting through the internet using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linked-In, Snapchat, etc. Utilizing social media to reach out to customers and establish a credible name, would overall add the appeal of the business and its products. Lastly, I would a build a strong and loyal clientele by maintaining the quality of my product. I would always make sure the manufacturers of my product would give the proper time and effort into producing great devices at all times. While I would continually look into how to better gain more revenue by using different materials or different distributing companies, I would never allow the allure of making a bigger profit compromise the integrity of my product. I would also work to listen to my customer base’s wants: if they desire new styles of heels, different colors, better accessibility, etc., I would deliver. Working to ceaselessly increase my client satisfaction would help build brand awareness and strong loyalty. Conclusively, there is not just one most important aspect of turning a raw idea into a thriving business; building a successful business requires an abundance of thought and work into the vision, networking, and advertising and marketing.

My Day to Night device would be a great success because I would collaborate with the best engineers, analysts, and business professionals to establish a product that consumers would truly enjoy. My passion for my business venture and working to efficiently serving working females worldwide would successfully establish my business as lasting company in the 2016 marketplace and many, many years to come.

team francesca

Francesca is the Managing Director of Sash Windows London Ltd, a family-owned and professionally managed window company providing a full range of sash window products throughout the UK. Passionate about providing high-quality, friendly, and reliable services. You can read Francesca’s full bio here.

2 responses to “Winner: Our 2016 Scholarship Award Goes To Sydney Dixon”

  1. Jo Lynn Hawk says:

    Congratulations, Sydney! We are so proud of you here at ORHS!

  2. Kelly Maxwell says:

    Sydney~ Thank you so much for sharing an incredible essay! I hear your tremendous voice and feel your conviction…way to appeal to your audience! You will continue to go places in life, no doubt about it.

    Ms. Maxwell

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