Music lovers, listen up! You could be mentored the founder and CEO of the MOBO Awards, Kanya King
Seventeen of the most influential women in Britain have joined forces with Marie Claire to become part of Inspire & Mentor with Marie Claire, our brand new campaign.
Women from all walks of life are reaching out to help other women onto the rungs of success.
By pairing short listed applicants with the mentors we believe will help them the most, we hope to help women fulfil their potential, get that dream job, or launch that business they’ve always hoped for.
Founder and chief executive of the MOBO Awards, Kanya King is just one of the influential women you could be mentored by as part of the new campaign.
Kanya left school at 16 with only a handful of GCSEs, and started up the MOBOs a few years later.
The organisation grew through work of mouth and has gone from strength to strength ever since. It’s now celebrating it’s 15th anniversary.
‘I had no idea I’d end up doing this kind of thing. I was the youngest of nine children, so in many ways I was inspired by my parents,’ Kanya tells us.
‘My father was from Ghana. He died when I was 13 from a form of leukaemia, but I got say goodbye to him the night he died.
‘He smiled at me and said, ‘Be the best that you can be’. That has stuck with me, particularly when I have any challenging moments.’
But not everyone shared her father’s belief in her.
‘I went to see the careers adviser at school and explain my ambition and vision of what I wanted to do. The response was ‘Well, if you work hard enough, you might become manager at Sainsbury’s!‘ she reveals.
‘I became a single mum at 16 and left school with only a few GCSEs, but I was always into music.’
‘The idea for the MOBOs came about as the musical landscape was changing. I recognised that there was a huge gap in the market and there was an audience out there that wasn’t being catered for,’ Kanya explains.
‘I didn’t have any money for advertising, so my marketing was through word of mouth.
‘I was fortunate to have friends help me out at the beginning, but obviously they’re not going to have the same drive or commitment you have.’
And that drive and commitment has been important to Kanya throughout her career.
‘Being entrepreneurial means you need to work hard 24/7, be focused, have vision, self-belief, clear goals, and aspire to greater things,’ she says.
‘I think every entrepreneur makes mistakes, but the key thing is to learn from it.’
And her motto? ‘Success is only a matter of time. I’ve always felt that I haven’t got to where I am today because of any extraordinary talent, it’s because I refused to quit!’