21 Jun MAXIMIZING ENTREPRENEURIAL POTENTIAL – SIAN CUFFY-YOUNG
“I never wanted to be an entrepreneur as I was very good at climbing the corporate ladder and came close to middle management.” This was a defining moment for Sian Cuffy-Young, Founder and CEO of Siel Environmental Services Limited.
Describing herself as a futuristic and driven individual with a high level of curiosity for knowledge, Sian believes that her love for teaching and helping others emanated from her parents “my father is a retired teacher and my mother a retired social worker.” Interestingly, Sian taught Integrated Science and Physics at Bishop’s Anstey East High School for one (1) year (2004 – 2005).
Unfolding her dynamism Sian also revealed “I’m a professional dancer and taught Belle and African Dance!” Her dive into the corporate arena began in August 2005 with her stint at the Solid Waste Management Company Limited which ended in December 2009. Sian’s navigation into the corporate space became deeper “From January 2010 to April 2014 I worked at National Quarries Limited, then returned to SWMCOL from April 2014 to February 2015 as Project Manager – Beverage Container Collection.”
One of the moving moments of Sian’s story is that her marital space was filled with the entrepreneurial spirit from an early age as her husband has been an entrepreneur since age 16! “ “After my last stint at SWMCOL I kept applying for jobs and my husband kept saying to me that I can do my own thing which I doubted. In prayer God said to me I gave you all these resources and you’re not using them.”
THE TURNING POINT
Siel Environmental Services Limited was registered in July 2016. “It was not operational until October 2016 as my son was still a baby so I needed to focus on him” said Sian. According to an elated Sian “through research and networking I’d been acquiring new learnings which were very new to me; reaching out to my old networks in the corporate space contributed to change in my behavior and mindset.”
Eventually Sian landed her first client which set the tone for obtaining her Certificate of Environmental Clearance. “Following this milestone I started my own composting at home at the end of 2017.”
THE SHELL LIVEWIRE EXPERIENCE!
Sian was extremely elated at her successful entry into the Shell LiveWIRE Programme! For her, the Leadership component of the programme was the greatest takeaway.
Antonio Baptiste, Facilitator told me that I have to figure out what I’m good at – put on my blinders and perfect your lane.
Sian was eternally grateful to her other colleagues who supported her wholeheartedly and she became the leader of the class. “The Leadership training was everything for me as it’s there I discovered what Siel would become. I also enjoyed the Pitch and Marketing sessions as they shaped and prepared me to pitch my business idea effectively.” She thanked the Shell LiveWIRE programme for the awesome seed planted in her!
Sian’s first book for children “Ky’s Magical Adventures: Where the Garbage Goes” carved a foundation for her to continue her journey to educate children on waste management. In the pipeline “Waste Education and Literacy Program” for children , “waste reduction training” for adults and businesses and “waste project consultancy.”
As she puts it “I’d be going back to my roots to launch an organic waste program and write five (5) more books.” An animated series for children is also on the cards. “I want to transform the way people think and act towards waste.”
About Shell LiveWire
Shell LiveWIRE is Shell’s global flagship social investment Enterprise Development programme, with a vision to strengthen local economies by promoting entrepreneurship, innovation and meaningful employment. Since inception in Scotland in 1982, the programme is facilitated in over 15 countries and supports thousands of entrepreneurs willing to transition their bright ideas into sustainable businesses. Check out our Alumni.