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Friday Interview: Victorine Piot

Victorine Piot, founder of the Piot foundation, is helping to build stronger individuals and families by empowering them to achieve lifelong success. She will be attending the Migrant Business Show on the 27th of July and I had the chance to talk to her this week.

1. Where are you from and why did you choose to move to London?

I am Victorine Piot and I am a French national of Ivorian descent. I first left my home country back in 1988 when I needed to follow my husband on work assignments to the UK and other countries as a highly skilled migrant.

2. What provided you with the inspiration for you starting your own business enterprise?

I decided to found the Piot Foundation  which is a non-profit organization that is independent from states and international governmental organisations. The foundation is funded by donation and is run primarily by volunteers.  I was inspired by my own personal history as I was deserted by my husband, lost all my properties, businesses into a point where my children and I were homeless; even though I chose to accompany him on his assignments as an expatriate spouse. In attempting to get my life back on track I found out the rate of depression and the number of spouses and partners deserted by their migrant/expatriate partners were worryingly high and not enough had been done to address this issue.

3. In terms of developing your network of contacts, what steps did you take in order to facilitate this?

Participating in meetings, conferences, and trade shows is a great way to nurture relationships with colleagues, network, and meet new people. Attempting to set up one-on-one meetings in advance and identify other ways to increase your participation and visibility at the meetings maximizes the impact. I always look for speaking opportunities; sponsor coffee breaks, or organize educational workshops. Publishing a personal blog on the Foundation’s website is a great way for people and prospects to get to know us, our business philosophy, and our main product, and services. Growing the business’ network by using social media sites and apps, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and online networking communities is, I think the future.

 4. Were there any events in particular you attended in which aided you on your business journey?

Yes the Migrant Business Show and Global Mobility Summit because the Migrant Business Owners are Self Employed workers and part of the beneficiaries of Piot Foundation as are the Expats. The most comprehensive definition of a migrant worker is provided in the Article 2.1 of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (the Convention on Migrant Workers). The Article 2 also distinguishes between particular categories of Migrant workers. These include “self-employed workers”. Piot Foundation is the Migrant workers’ Foundation and it was a great joy to be at the show last time and again this time.

5. As a seasoned entrepreneur, do you have any words of wisdom for those seeking to become an entrepreneur?

My advice goes to the Migrant Entrepreneurs: In the current Worldwide situation the key is not only  to pursue gain but is to seek UNDERSTANDING which will lead you to KNOWLEDGE will lead you to POWER and Wealth. When you are in a multicultural country as UK do your own research. Learning about different cultures can be a great way of developing an understanding cultural diversity. Engage in a bit of research either online or through books and study some of the history and traditions of the country, and other cultures instead of making a broad brush statements before start any business; because they are all your potential clients. You cannot take financial risks in the hope of profit by being ignorant of the cultural diversity.

 

If you also would like to be part of the Migrant Business Show, please contact me. It is free to attend. Check out our website migrantbusinessshow.com