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Akil Benjamin

Jul 10, 2024 | Uncategorized

In this episode of the Innovation Conversation, Akil Benjamin discusses his journey as an entrepreneur and the work he does to support small businesses. He shares how he started his design studio, Kamusi, and later transitioned to helping small businesses grow. Akil also talks about the creation of the Black Business Residency at Somerset House and the impact it has had on supporting entrepreneurs. He provides advice for young entrepreneurs, discusses the challenges of building the residency program, and shares his thoughts on raising money and the UK startup ecosystem.


  • Starting small and experimenting is key for entrepreneurs. Test out your ideas and propositions in the smallest way possible to validate them before scaling up.
  • Building relationships and demonstrating value to potential partners and investors is crucial for success. Align your goals with theirs and show how working together can help them achieve their dreams.
  • Recognize the cultural differences and conservative nature of the UK market. Adapt your business model and focus on making sales and demonstrating traction before seeking investment.
  • Maintaining a support system, seeking therapy, and practicing prayer can help entrepreneurs stay grounded and navigate tough times.
  • Balance may not always be achievable for entrepreneurs, but finding what works for you and being present in your journey can lead to success.


00:00Introduction and Background

06:20Starting Small and Experimenting

08:25Building Relationships and Demonstrating Value

12:11Navigating the UK Market

14:45Finding Support and Staying Grounded

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