Tell me a bit about yourself? (where are you from, hobbies, family etc)
I’m Brent born and bred, I grew up in Harlesden, but my parents are from Grenada and Jamaica. I love travelling; whether for business or pleasure and also enjoy working out, good music, food and films.
I am the father of five aged from 7 to 23 yrs old so I’m quite a busy family man!
Tell me about your first business and where did that idea come from?
Believe it or not I started off my entrepreneurial journey in the fashion industry! I was in my late-teens and like many others my age music, socialising and clothes were a big part of my life and interests. I found a way to combine all three for my business interest and was a part of a group of designers and music artists.
We would hand make ‘urban’/street style clothing, which was popular with youths and they were pretty good if I do say so myself! In fact we were able to secure a deal supplying clothing to a pretty big artist – so things were sweet, while it lasted!
However, in the vein of youthfulness, the group broke up after a while and I moved onto my next venture.
You’re currently inspiring primary school children in Brent to start their own entrepreneur journey. Tell me about the motivation behind this project?
I have been working with schools, colleges and universities for the past 15 years in various capacities and have always enjoyed working with young people. It’s always amazing to hear the great ideas and understanding they have of business, which is often innate. We have been running an entrepreneurship club on Saturdays at Newman Catholic College in Harlesden for about 18 months now. We have kids from as young as 6 yrs old in attendance with our eldest at 16yrs. The group is split into their respective ages and we have an average of 4 students to 1 teacher / entrepreneur. For this reason we can give our budding young businesses all the attention they need to succeed.
While I’ve enjoyed working on lots of exciting projects and with amazing businesses and entrepreneurs, the greatest satisfaction has always been in inspiring young people to follow their dreams. I strongly believe in the mantra that when you “do what you love” you’ll never ‘work’ a day in your life, so I encourage all the young people I work with to follow their passions, whether it’s in business or work!
The skills gained in teaching entrepreneurship go well beyond ‘just’ business, but can eventually be used in the workplace and socially.
It would be really difficult to pin down one achievement! I’m really proud of all that we’ve achieved with Ultra Education since we’ve launched and we are currently the UK’s number one provider of entrepreneurial education programmes for 7 to 18 year olds. Last year we helped 76 kids to start their own business, they all do what they love and several have won awards for their businesses!
Also, to date we have taught entrepreneurship to over 2,500 kids, which is amazing! My personal biggest achievement has been the success of my book Entrepreneur To Ultrapreneur: 100 Ways To Up Your Game, which became a best-seller on Amazon and was translated into 6 languages.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to start their own business?
Firstly, do what you love! Life’s too short not enjoy what you do and doing something you’re passion about will help you to keep going when things get tough! It’s also important to stay ‘connected’ in the era of modern day business.
Don’t isolate yourself; find a mentor, network and collaborate to drive your business forward. A great example of this can be seen in my daughter Kamare, who is 9 years old. She has created her own vegan chocolate spread called Chocoria and she is also has a YouTube channel where she reviews different products, does fun challenges and more. She has made videos with several child and adult entrepreneurs, which has helped to promote her brand and channel and open up great opportunities for her. In fact, a recent collaboration with vegan cook and fellow vlogger Kirly Sue led to her first international speaking engagement in South Africa!
What’s next for the Ultrapreneur?
Wow, well where do I start… It’s a really exciting and busy time for Ultra Education and we’ve got some big plans in the pipeline. Overall we have a massive aim we are working towards, which is to teach entrepreneurship to one million young people by 2020!
We’re working hard on building our brand and have developed our Ultra Education franchise to reach as many kids as possible all over the country. In the immediate future we have our first ever UltraKids Business Awards taking place this summer, in which we’ll recognise some of the great achievements of our child entrepreneurs, as well as our annual kids winter business fair in December where we expect to showcase over 50 young entrepreneurs.