I had the pleasure of interviewing Ania Kubow, Co-founder of fintech app Nimbla. Ania already has one exit under her belt in the form of an ecommerce business she started at the age of 23, whilst working on trading floors of London. She loves to be the voice for entrepreneurs all over the world and has frequently been featured by the likes of Daily Mail, Telegraph, Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc, fintech Insider and many more.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
Thanks so much for having me. My backstory starts out in the United Arab Emirates.
I grew up and spent my childhood in Dubai- it was a fantastic place to grow up in at the time as I saw an emirate grow out of the desert, to what it is now in a very short space of time. It was really inspiring for me.
After that I spent some time in Singapore, and now I am currently living in London.
Why did you found your company?
During my first start up- an online jewelry brand, I was amazed about the lack of financial and insurance products available for small business.
We were a small company people wise, but were shipping orders all over the globe, from America to Saudi Arabia.
When we were starting out, operationally we were excelling, but due to a lower turnover than the average company, we could not protect our deals and cashflow. The only option available to us from protecting ourselves from bad debt was trade credit insurance — a whole turnover product that starts at £6000. I find this price unfair to small business.
What is it about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
We are lowing the entry barrier to trade credit insurance from £6000 to £6.
By allowing customers to protect individual invoices, we hope to help small business thrive. Nimbla are the first company ever to be doing this.
We all need a little help along the journey — who have been some of your mentors?
We were very fortunate to have been through the fintech programme by Barclays, run by TechStars.
Thank you’s go out to Chris Adelsbach, managing Director of the programme. If you have a great start-up Idea that you think could be the next disruptor in your industry, definitely reach out to him.
How are you going to shake things up next?
I am very proud of where Nimbla has gotten to as a company in a very short space of time. We want to help all small business, no matter how small — all over the globe.
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.
‘Don’t be a perfectionist’ — Not so much words said to me but ones I believe in. Ideas and products develop along the way. Spending too much time making something perfect, especially at the beginning, is pointless as I can guarantee you, it will be 60–70% changed by the end of the project.
‘Give First’– this was the motto of the Techstars accelerator programme. It was refreshing to see that most of the founders chosen for the programme already believed in this way of life.
‘Don’t take yourself too seriously, it will only hold you back’ — I feel this goes with confidence in yourself and not being afraid to ask questions — even if sometimes you might think they are silly.
What’s a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Share a story with us.
I am currently reading a great book called ‘That’s not a stick, that’s a log’ by Gerard Taylor.
Its about 20 observations and insights into emerging cultural trends within the workspace. It really is fascinating and heavy with content.
I find it important to truly understand the future of how companies and offices will work to carry on developing a product that will cater and help the ‘new’ business owner.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
Well, it must be Richard Branson really. I love his initiatives for the small business owner in the UK.
How can our readers follow you on social media? Please find me on Linkedin, or on twitter at @ania_nimbla