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Denise Matthews – Local Entrepreneur and Start-Up Grind Chapter Director

Denise Matthews – Local Entrepreneur and Start-Up Grind Chapter Director Icon

In a world full of possibilities, I have embarked on a career path that embraces entrepreneurship and my aim is to make a positive impact on our community. I will tell you a little about my journey of inspiration and empowerment.

My story is one shaped by ambition and proving to anyone who told me I couldn’t that they are wrong. The belief that achieving greatness requires taking action taught me that if I want something, I have to go out there and get it.

My own entrepreneurial journey started with DM Promotions at the age of 22. In I998 the company handled all kinds of promotional work and brand awareness campaigns all over Gibraltar. At the peak employing around 100 temporary, part-time staff throughout the year, mainly students. This was a business that was successful for around four years and when business started to fizzle out I decided it was time for a change.

Jump to 2016 and I decided it was time to start over with my startup One Media & Events. With no investment capital or resources I got creative, did an online social media marketing course and started to check out what was out there.

I applied to represent a brand that was part of one of the global internet giants as a means or tool to showcase my new business services of business development through PR, Communications and Event Management.

Startup Grind’s story is one of humble beginnings. The first event was hosted in 2013, by the Founder Derek Anderson just south of San Francisco in Mountain View, with only a few members in attendance, since then it has grown to a vast global network spanning 115 countries and over 600 chapters at present.

On the 1st February 2017 Gibraltar was chosen as the next City Chapter within the organisation Startup Grind powered by Google Startups. It is the largest independent Startup community, actively educating, inspiring, and connecting 5,000,000 entrepreneurs in over 200 cities. They nurture Startup ecosystems in 125 countries through events, media, and partnerships.

Unexpectedly for the global organisation Gibraltar with a total population of less than 10% of a small U.S. chapter has matched average attendance with high level speakers, content, marketing, venue and consistency of events making us the best new chapter this year and receiving the Chapter Director “Rookie of the Year 2018” Award at the San Francisco Global Conference.

Six years in, running the events series is full of challenges locally; changing socio-economic mindsets and lack of support or funding. This will not hinder the determination to keep communicating and reinventing because the stats are there, startups have a positive impact on the economy and I am an advocate for that with a startup of my own.

Entrepreneurship is vital for economic growth and development. The right environment nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs, business leaders, and innovators through training programmes, mentorship and investment are necessary for new business startups to achieve goals and sustainable growth .

It has been an incredible journey, connecting with global business leaders, inspiring our local community, and even presenting at international conferences. The impact has been profound: a real inspiration to me at the age of 48.

Today, I wear many hats. I’m the Founder of One Media & Events, the Gibraltar Chapter Director of Startup Grind, with a strong, happy client base. I’m also a trustee of The Gibraltar Digital Skills Foundation and work in the media as a contributor. Last year I got the offer to present a series on GBC Business Talks so again great opportunities keep coming.

So, why am I sharing all this with you? Because I want you to know that your possibilities are limitless. You can choose a career path that combines your passion, entrepreneurship and making a positive impact.

Entrepreneurship is not just about starting a business; it’s about creating change, disrupting industries, and shaping the future. It’s about believing in yourself and turning your dreams into reality.

My advice to you is to dream big, surround yourself with supportive mentors, get creative, and never be afraid to take risks. Embrace the entrepreneurial spirit and make a difference in the world.

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