Our story

Who are we, why do we do this & where are we going?

Sometimes it’s easy to forget where you started, when you’re caught up in your growth. So here’s a little about us to help you understand a little better exactly why we do what we do and what we want to achieve.

 

Our mission:

To make it easier for anyone, anywhere to start & grow a remarkable business.

 

Our vision:

To build a generation of great people, doing good business in better ways, to fulfil the potential impact on their lives & the lives of others.

 

Our values:

Genuine. Honest. Purposeful. Human. Curious. Collaborative. Resilient. Rebellious. Inclusive.

 

Why?

Well that’s a good question…

Yena (or YENA as it was previously known) was started for many reasons. Firstly, it became apparent at the time to Ash (who started Yena, albeit kind of accidentally) that the events he was going to weren’t the best experience he felt he could have. They were expensive, intimidating, old fashioned and crucially, attended by people far more senior than he was. This wasn’t a problem when it came to age, but culturally, he wanted something new, something contemporary, something more.

You can find out more about Ash’s story in his TED talk here:

(He likes to make sure that people know 1. That he only had a week to prep for this talk and 2. That he 100% owns the rights to the Invisible Clicker™ and anyone caught using one should pay him royalties immediately…)

One other key factor in starting Yena was that business support – Ash felt – just wasn’t up to scratch or accessible enough. He had been running his first business and growing super slowly because the support out there was either government provided, which generally meant it wasn’t great, or private and therefore expensive. This underserved the people that needed it the most, the life blood of the economy, the startups & scale-ups that make the world go round.

So Ash started a meetup in a little bar in Bristol. About 8 people turned up for a beer. Great conversations were had and everyone shared the same feeling – that they really enjoyed being around other people who ‘got them’. Their friends didn’t really get what they were up to, and their parents were constantly baffled, so it was nice to be with people who understood the same level of ambition to make a change, to do something great and the adventure that goes along with it.

As people left that first event, they asked when the next one was, and we’ve now run them ever since!

Hundreds of events later, 3 cities live, and it was time to take Yena on full time.

Ash jumped out of his previous business, with no parachute (Yena wasn’t making any money) and started a membership which people had been asking for and we’ve been growing our community of amazing members, improving the membership offering, expanding events and helping people start & grow remarkable businesses ever since!

Where do we go from here?

Well, the world is a big place, but we plan on making it a lot smaller. Watch this space 😉

Oh, and thanks for reading! Have some (virtual) chocolate for doing so! #NomNomNom