It’s amazing to think that 10 years ago I began developing ideas for my first business. From one bold step in saying I want to take control of my own destiny, I launched a microbusiness as part of the 2007 BiG Challenge competition in Sheffield, with my brothers and a friend.
We won over £10,000 worth of prizes from this competition and that confidence boost kick-started my entrepreneurship career.
Since then, I have built on my ideas to form a social change consultancy and set up numerous projects to tackle social issues in the field of youth participation, entrepreneurship, disability and gambling awareness.
I have supported over 1,000 young people to set up their own projects and businesses and even launched a mentoring and business challenge in my home town which I run annually. Through my work I have contributed to raising over £1.25m for different charities, raising awareness of causes to over 300 million worldwide and travelled to over 16 countries telling my story, representing young people at events and in political arenas such as the Houses of Parliament and the EU Parliament. Despite having a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome, a form of autism, I let nothing stand in my way and kept my vision for social change clear in my mind. I also never let anyone say no to my ambition!
Never did I think that this year, ten years from one humble idea in my bedroom whilst I was in school, that I would be shaking hands with Her Majesty the Queen and receiving an award from her.
I hope my story really shows the power of thinking positively, having bold ideas and simply going for it! Grab onto any opportunity which comes your way and make sure you seek support and ask for help whenever you’re ready to progress or come into challenges. Never let an obstacle be a challenge for you, take inspiration from my story and make your dreams a reality. I’m proud to be an ambassador for the next generation, to stand up for what I believe in and to encourage entrepreneurial solutions to social problems in a bid to change the world. Will you join me too?
Here are some of my highlights:
Winning the Best Existing Business award at the BiG Challenge 2009, Sheffield
Promoting youth entrepreneurship through a Sheffield campaign as one of the first graduates of Dragon’s Den star Peter Jones’ Enterprise Academy, 2011
Relaunhing my IT consultancy at its infancy in 2011 with the support of celebrity chef and entrepreneur Levi Roots
Supporting other young people to set up in business through The Initiative project
Giving away prize money and support to the first winner of the Sheffield Entrepreneurs Challenge, 2012
My story featured in the Enterprising Child book to encourage young children to be enterprising, 2012 (you can by the book on Amazon and in Waterstones bookstores!)
Featuring on Channel 5 News, on national TV, on A Level results day 2013 encouraging youth entrepreneurship
Receiving the support of ex Prime Minister David Cameron for our gambling campaign, 2015
Meeting Her Majesty The Queen and receiving the Queen’s Young Leaders award, 2016
Lobbying MEPs at the EU Parliament to protect EU aid, for the ONE Campaign, 2014