On Thursday 2 March, the OA Club welcomed back Merlin Dunlop (OA 1997 and current parent), Stephen Pavlovich (OA 1997) and Durotimi Adebutu (OA 2021) for a panel event on entrepreneurship. After a welcome from Mike Windsor, students, OAs, parents and siblings were treated to an insightful talk about the highs and lows entrepreneurs encounter. 

Merlin spoke of his experience as a medical doctor and co-founder of Ardens Health Informatics Ltd, which has grown such that the company now provides clinical decision support software to over 85% of GP surgeries. Merlin built the business and established himself as the Medical Director of Ardens, all whilst maintaining his GP work. 

Stephen established Conversion.com in 2007, with Chris Goward. Conversion.com is the world’s largest Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) and experimentation agency, whose client base includes Meta, Microsoft, Deliveroo and Tesco. In August 2020, Stephen sold his agency to Sideshow Group, where he now holds a pivotal role as Chief Strategy Officer for the Group alongside his role of Managing Director of Bunnyfoot and Conversion.com.

Durotimi is a student entrepreneur, currently studying business management at the University of Bristol. Whilst at Abingdon, he was able to develop and nurture his love for mixing and producing music. This passion has carried over to his time in Bristol, where he is actively involved in managing and DJ-ing at multiple student events. In a short time he has learned much about what it takes to be an entrepreneur and hopes to pursue his passion in the future. 

All of our panelists agreed that despite regularly facing tough challenges, with perspective, tenacity and a genuine passion for what you do, the entrepreneurial life has much to recommend it. 

Abingdon’s Head of Economics, Tony Gray, brought his own entrepreneurial experience to the role of host, ensuring a high level of engagement with the audience. The event concluded with a lively Q&A session.

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