On the Promoting Enterprise portal, we are talking to the entrepreneurs on the 33 Under 33 list. This Secrets of Success initiative aims to shine the spotlight on a selection of successful young entrepreneurs, documenting their stories in an effort to inspire others to consider entrepreneurship as a career path. Today it is the turn of young Danish Nima Tisdall.
Nima is from Denmark and has a MSc. in International Business and Politics from Copenhagen Business School. Her heroes are the journalist, author, and public speaker Malcolm Gladwell - for being a captivating storyteller, and Richard Branson for being a successful entrepreneur who doesn't take things too seriously. Her entrepreneurial spirit comes from a passion to make the world a better place. Her company, Blue Lobster, is a digital platform for the sale of sustainable seafood.
Tell us about your business.
Blue Lobster cuts out non-value adding intermediaries in the fishing industry, by connecting sustainable fishers directly with their customers through a digital marketplace. Our mission is to incentivise fishers to use sustainable methods.
Where did you get the idea from?
My co-founder, who is American, first brought the issue to me. She noticed a lack of available fresh seafood in Denmark. Soon after, we began visiting harbours and fishers and uncovered a very long, inefficient supply chain that mainly left the fishers themselves underpaid.
How old were you when you first decided you would start your own business?
I was 24.
How did you get it off the ground?
We walked down to the harbours, spoke to the fishers in person and asked if we could buy their fish for more than they were currently selling them. We then walked into restaurants in Copenhagen, knocked on their kitchens doors and asked if they would buy fish from us that were caught on the same day. Both customers and suppliers were very excited to get started after that.
Who did you turn to for help?
Industry experts that we found through online research and networking.
Describe some of the obstacles you faced as a young person starting out in this business.
Many people don't take you seriously when you are young. For the first couple of years we heard Blue Lobster referred to as a school project amongst the customers we worked with.
How do you define success?
Success is creating a positive impact on the world, people and planet.
What was the most challenging aspect of setting up your business?
It is always challenging to change an industry that has had the same practices for many years. While our company was founded to drive positive change both in terms of sustainable equipment for our planet, and income levels for fishers, many of the traditional players didn't want to see us succeed, as we were challenging the status quo. From the very beginning, we experienced suppliers who refused to work with us, threats from industry players, and direct disruptive acts targeted at our business. Navigating the hard pushback while growing a company has been the most challenging aspect.
What has been the most rewarding part of your journey so far?
The most rewarding part of our journey has been seeing the moments where we make a true impact on people's lives. Where fishers have earned a higher income, which they have been able to use on things they had wished for, or when restaurants change their menus to include only sustainable seafood.
What are the future goals of your business, and how will you go about achieving them?
Our goal is to keep expanding the business model to new countries and regions to allow fishers everywhere to sell directly to their customers. We are already in the process of expanding through Europe.
What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs out there?
Start speaking to your customers as soon as possible. It is easy to get stuck in planning mode for too long; at the end of the day it is your customers who can best tell you what they need.
- Publication date
- 18 April 2023
- Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
- Promoting Enterprise - categories
- Secrets of Success
- Promoting Enterprise - tags