By Abiola Archer
In a world where internet connectivity and computer devices are readily available in most homes with even babies owning electronic tablets, young Linden entrepreneur Carolyn Archer, has had to diversifying her internet café operations given the changing tides of technology, but she believes that she should not completely pull the plug on her internet café, since there is still a small fraction of people who cannot afford internet connectivity and gadgets, that she can serve. This was further realised with the start of the pandemic, when virtual teaching became a reality and many students and teachers were disenfranchised because of not owning an electronic device or they did not have residential internet connectivity. Carolyn is the owner CyberNet Internet Cafe’ and Freezing Point Ice-cream shop.
She started her business in 2018 when there seemed to be a dire need for photocopying and printing. However, with the revolutionising of technology, that aspect of the business slowed up but the young entrepreneur persevered. She believed that her business still has relevance and she is now focused on providing the service to those in need. “There will always be that group of persons who cannot afford a gadget nor a monthly internet bill as well as those who will need the help to maneuver the internet and others with the apps and software since they may not have the knowledge on how to do it,” she said.
Given the many sacrifices she made to start her business with little assets, Carolyn is determined to continue diversifying by sifting out gaps in the market and then she will full those gaps by providing the service. Just after finishing school, her first job was at an internet café. She posited, “Before starting my own business, I worked at an internet café and eventually, the owner decided to hand the business over to me with an agreement of me paying a monthly rent, with that, I was thinking to myself that I had a great opportunity to start doing business on my own not knowing the challenges I would be facing in the long run. The rent was really high for me to accumulate along with other personal challenges in life that made the business close down. At that point I wanted to give up on my dreams of becoming an entrepreneur but if it wasn’t for faith and the mindset I had, I wouldn’t have had my own business today.”
In 2018, Carolyn started her own business with just a computer, a small printer and a cooler. “I felt excited and scary. It was exciting but also scary to know you’re starting a new chapter in life.” I thought working for myself would be a much easier way to earn my own money but it was even more challenging because you then have to manage, market and work all together.” She expressed that, “I had a lot of challenges in the beginning, but I decided to keep my focus and develop a stable mindset and keep pushing forward to achieve my goals and other visions for the business.”
Providing a service to the community of Linden she said, allows her to find purpose in her job and to create a positive impact in the lives of others. “Volunteering allows me to connect to many people and to make the world a better place. Even helping out with the smallest tasks can make a real difference to the lives of people. Dedicating my time as a volunteer, helps me to make new friends, expand my network, and boost my social skills. Sharing my knowledge and skills to help my customers would allow persons who cannot afford to own a computer to get whatever they need to be done on time and at an affordable cost.”
She advised youths who are aspiring to become entrepreneurs to, “develop your business skills, do what you love, know what you want, think rationally; you need to decide what your primary business goal is. You should also develop your ideas step-by-step, and that requires thinking over all the aspects of your future business. So, take some time. Sit down, plan for your future and be your own boss.”
At CyberNet café one can access document services such as photocopying, lamination, printing, scanning, designing of business cards, posters, school research, binding books, purchase stationery, credit from both networks, ice-cream, beverages, smoothies and refreshments.
CyberNet Internet Cafe and freezing point Icecream shop is located at Lot 3 Burnham Drive Silvertown Wismar Linden. You can visit, call or WhatsApp 5926850970.