Movers and Shakers: Kayleigh Oliver | Junction 5 Studios
Kayleigh Oliver is the founder of Junction 5 an app development company that builds unique applications that create a positive impact on the lives of its users. Junction 5’s current project is the Figures of
Black British Society (FOBBS).
FOBBS is intended to be a comprehensive, educational resource
to learn about Black British figures both historical and current-day leaders. With this app,
exposing the great achievements of Black Britons, she hopes to help inspire the next generation
to dream bigger, be better, and achieve whatever they want
What inspired you to start your own business?
For me there were two reasons; I wanted to start to earn money that wasn’t tied to my
day job and I wanted a creative but technical outlet outside of my then role. At the time, I
was working as a quality assurance tester in the games industry and all I wanted to be
was a games designer. When the tools to create mobile apps became free to use, I
jumped at the chance to make one of my ideas real and get a taste of being a business
What were the first few steps you took to get the business up and running?
The first thing that I did was register the business and start to put content out on
social media. I started by first creating my own small apps and launching them to the app
stores. I was soon introduced to my first client via a mutual friend who had seen my
social media posts and recommended me for the opportunity.
How far ahead do you plan and what keeps you on track and motivated?
This isn’t my full-time role, so I sacrifice a lot of my free time building apps, reading and
learning. I try to find a balance though, so I’m not fully consumed with work all the time.
I’ve learned that going full into the business without proper rest is not sustainable and
will lead me to crash and burn if I’m not careful. So I may try and do something every day. If a deadline is looming though, I will work a bit harder to ensure that I meet the target, but this doesn’t last forever.
What has been the most amazing day in your entrepreneurial life so far?
I recently did a test session with a school for the FOBBS app. It was really great to see
the children interacting with something that I had made and learning from. I’m not
usually able to witness users playing my apps so this was a unique experience. I can’t
wait for a full playtest session to commence when the app’s launched in Beta soon.
What has been your scariest moment?
My scariest moment is yet to come. It’s going to be putting my idea out there for the world to see and play with. FOBBS was just an idea that I had a couple of years ago that I came up with to ensure that my children would have a resource that was easy to use,and had lots of people from Black British history so that they could learn about their
history alongside their normal education in schools. I never thought that it would be so
widely appreciated and wanted. So, the pressure’s building to make this a great resource
for not only my children, but all children across the UK.
How do you work on making your business grow?
I try to dedicate one day a week (this may equate to two hours a week) to working on
my business. These will be more strategic moves to help me and the business grow e.g.putting new systems in place, outsourcing a task, looking at upcoming events to network
with new individuals etc
What is the best thing about being your own boss?
That I get to dictate what I want to do, where I want to be, what my limits are, and who I want to help.
What are the challenges of working for yourself and how do you tackle them
Being able to shut my brain off and relax. I’m constantly thinking about my projects,
learning something new, how to improve the projects, overcome a challenge, or other
aspects of the business. I try to tackle these by time-blocking tasks.
Who do you admire or look to for inspiration as a business owner?
I am inspired by a lot of online entrepreneurs like David Shands and Donni Wigans from
the Social Proof podcast. Nehemiah Davis from the Circle of CEOs, Bianca Miller-Cole
and Byron Cole who were my previous business mentors, and my current mentor Jazz
What piece of advice has had the most impact on your business? And who was it from?
This is an amalgamation of advice that I’ve learned from reading lots of books over the past ten years, but it’s that the opposite of winning is not losing, it’s learning. Learning is always a direct outcome of taking any action. And from that you are always growing and
becoming a better version of yourself.
What are the three books, websites or resources (professional or personal) that you would recommend to other business owners?
What other passions do you have away from your business? How do you relax?
I like watching films, and TV series (I’m a big fan of the Marvel Universe from the 90s) and
playing video games. I’m currently playing a sci-fi adventure game called Beyond A Steel
Sky on my Nintendo Switch.
Connect with Kayleigh on Instagram