Student enjoys social enterprise success

BA Business Management and Marketing student Jamie Akinola is behind an inspirational project that is making a difference to the lives of young people in London.

Date: 03/05/2012

BA Business Management and Marketing student Jamie Akinola is behind an inspirational project that is making a difference to the lives of young people in London. 

Jamie, who studies in London Metropolitan Business School (LMBS), runs his own social enterprise which provides local youths with embroidery skills to help them design or customise their own clothes.

The project gives young people at risk of joining gangs or committing crime new skills and helps nurture a sense of pride in their achievements.

So successful is his enterprise that Jamie has won a prestigious award, as well as government funding for his work.

“I’m trying to establish a positive movement”, explained Jamie, who has been running ‘Positive Slogans’ since 2009. “The idea is to run an enterprise that works but also has a good impact on the community. It brings people together to learn how to design clothes and embroider logos. 

“So many young people have ambitions to do great things but are simply unaware of how to achieve them. Through this work they get to realise that success can come to anyone.” 

Jamie’s idea was inspired by a trip to America where he bought a customised baseball cap. “I took this hat to school and everyone was asking me where I got it. They all loved it and it gave me the idea of setting up a similar business here.”

The young entrepreneur applied to his local council for a funding application, and Positive Slogans was born. 

The enterprise has received funding grants from Brent Council as well as the Fusion Fund. The prestigious Girdlers Company also gave Jamie a Local Achievement Award for the excellent contribution he is making to London.

“I was invited to lunch with a group of Lords who fund the Girdlers”, he said. “It was a fantastic experience!” 

With such success, Jamie’s decision to go to university might seem an odd one, but he believes it made good business sense.

“The Business Management and Marketing course at London Met has been very helpful to me. It’s given me a much better understanding of how to properly run a business as well as how to better connect with people", he said. 

“The lectures are also very helpful. You can book one-to-one sessions with them which is very useful if you’re struggling with a particular topic and need a bit of extra time with them. There really is very good support on offer at LMBS.”

So far Jamie’s project, based in his local Kilburn, has directly helped over 60 young people, but he also encourages intergenerational work to strengthen community ties. He is now expanding the operation into new boroughs.

Jamie is a credit to London Metropolitan University, with commendable business acumen combined with a striking modesty. His ambitions for the future, however, are anything but modest.

“I want branches of the business in every community, everywhere!” he said. 

“The feeling you get from helping young people is priceless, and I want more people to experience it and make a difference.” 

Find out how London Metropolitan Business School can boost your business ambitions

 

Positive Slogans has already had an impact on 60 young people in London. 

For more information about this story, please contact l.foddy@londonmet.ac.uk