What happens when you lose your passion for your startup? After a building a successful tutoring service for young students, University of Melbourne’s Entrepreneurship student Louis Razuki faced this dilemma and has found an unusual solution.
British-born Razuki has always been interested in education, and from a young age, would babysit for neighbourhood children and help with their homework. Working in a UK primary school during his gap year he realised he had a passion for education.
“Education is powerful – when someone is given the right guidance, they can learn how to accelerate to become their best selves,” says Razuki.
Returning to Melbourne Louis created Active Learning, helping kids with their homework, growing their confidence and unlocking their true potential. Incorporating childhood development and curricula learning with after-school care was an appealing solution to children disengaged with their education, and the business grew.
As Active Learning continued to flourish, Razuki realised he was not equipped to run the growing business. The two-way exchange of advice and ideas of the Master of Entrepreneurship was the answer to his knowledge gap.
“Being around people who were committed to doing something brave for themselves was really good, and it really pulled me up. They’re passionate about entrepreneurship and passionate about things. They’re all going on that journey of self. You’re all going on that journey together,” he explains.
The personal journey for Louis was not so unusual for entrepreneurs with a growing enterprise, the further away he was from the “coalface” the less connection there was with the business he had helped build. While he no longer wanted to run the business, and did not have the passion to prepare the business for sale, he couldn’t abandon it.
In divesting his business, he was very clear he wanted the benefit Active Learning provided to the parents and the kids to continue.
All entrepreneurs have different motivations, and mine is very much from the sense of purpose. I wanted it [Active Learning] to go to a good home. I wanted the work we do to keep going, and I wanted to sort of help out someone else’s journey.
One of benefits of Louis’ studies was the building connections and networks, and it was a member of his new networks that provided the pathway to a solution. Course mentor Ishani Chattopadhyay was able to connect Louis with a non-for-profit organisation involved in impactful, meaningful social projects. Established by Naba Alfayadh, Happy Brain Education provides tutoring and mentoring services to young people. Razuki has gifted Active Learning to Naba and her team, ensuring his vision of education as a vessel to create a change continues.
“Louis was more interested in the business continuing with purpose than a financial return. Thanks to Louis’ generosity, Happy Brain now has the financial freedom to deliver more services to more people who need them,” says Naba.
Naba credits Chloe Higgins and Nathan Chua from her team as being integral to the transition of Active Learning to Happy Brain. With his business going to good hands, Razuki is looking forward to focusing on his Master of Entrepreneurship and developing skills that will allow him to build and grow his next venture in a way that allows him to be the kind of entrepreneur he wants to be.
Originally published on Faculty of Business and Economics Newsroom.