What do you currently do?
I am the Chief Executive at Work Avenue, a charitable organisation set up in 2006 to empower people at any stage of their lives to find employment or run their own successful businesses, in order to create long-term sustainable incomes. Work Avenue has also developed WE Hub, our business hub in Finchley, North London.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
The fundamental principle of helping people to make a living is something that is engrained in the culture of our community and of Work Avenue. We are open for all and it’s great to support a diverse mix of people from all walks of life.
The principle of what Work Avenue does – helping people get a foot on the career ladder – is very dear to my heart. I had always planned to dedicate my time to this kind of work in the future. However, while in my previous job, this opportunity arose, so I decided to go for it. That was ten years ago, and I have never looked back.
What defines your ways of doing business?
I have always been passionate about giving back to the community. As the businesses we support at Work Avenue grow and succeed, they are then able to give back by helping and mentoring others who are just getting started. It’s a virtuous circle and that is fundamental part to how we work and what we believe in.
Who do you admire?
While most people look up to the wealthy and successful, and idolise them as something they aspire to be, I admire the people that walk through our doors at Work Avenue. It takes a lot of courage and strength of character to come to us for help. These people have committed to getting their lives back on track and this is something I truly admire.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
We have stayed true to our values and goals since the very beginning. While we may not have always got everything spot on, there is nothing I would do differently, and I am extremely proud of everything we have achieved so far.
What advice would you give someone just starting out?
Never be afraid to look to others for support. Talk to people who have been on a similar journey to yourself; those who have successfully started a business and overcome challenges along the way.
Connect with others in your industry. They can both offer you advice and could become useful business contacts in the future.