Each week, Female CoFounder features a female founder in the community. Follow along each week and learn from different founders and their journeys.
For this week's founder spotlight, we'd like to introduce you to Jasmine Williams! She's the Co-Founder and CMO of Benji
FcF: Tell us about yourself.
Jasmine: I studied Journalism in university. While I did a couple of internships at magazines and TV stations, but I ultimately ended up working in marketing. I worked at a number of different companies, from start-ups to non-profits, before venturing out on my own and starting a content marketing consultancy, Jasmine Williams Media, and more recently, joining the founding team of Benji.
FcF: How did you come up with Benji?
Jasmine: My co-founder Mohammed came up with the idea after feeling frustrated filing his personal taxes. Whether it was going through all of his bank statements to determine what he could write-off to remembering to keep his receipts, he felt it was time that people like himself had a tax solution that made sense for their financial story. Having worked as a freelance consultant myself for the past year, when Mohammed told me his idea, I was immediately sold.
FcF: How did you meet your Co-Founder? What do you look for in finding your Co-Founders?
Jasmine:I met Mohammed through a public speaking bootcamp that he runs through his non-profit, Women and Color. We stayed in touch after the weekend through the Women and Color Slack channel. Since we both had similar values in terms of our thoughts on diversity and inclusion and had similar interests, it was a pretty natural fit. Also, have a shared passion for the product we're building was key.
FcF: What were the first few steps you took after you knew you wanted to pursue this idea?
Jasmine: While my story is a little different, once I joined the founding team for Benji, I immediately got to work building out a go-to market strategy and launching our social media and digital marketing channels. While I can't fully speak for Mo, his main priorities were to validate the idea, learn as much from his customers as possible, and seek out co-founders who could support him.
FcF: What advice do you have for other women who have a start-up idea or side project idea?
Jasmine: My advice would be to validate your idea. You can use a business model canvas to quickly write it out and then you can start testing them by talking to potential customers. I know a lot of people can be a little too precious with their ideas because they're worried someone will scoop them if they talk about them too much, but getting as much feedback as possible is so crucial, especially in the early stages.
FcF: Is there anything you would like the Female CoFounder community to help you with?
Jasmine: Right now, Benji is open for early access (woo!) and we're looking to get the word out as much as possible. If you or someone you know does freelance work or has a side hustle, you can sign up for Benji now to be one of the first try our new app. And if you mention Female Cofounderwhen you fill out our sign-up form, we‰Ûªll give you 2 months off your 2019 subscription.