New fund supports entrepreneurs in one of Londons most deprived areas

An award-winning businessman, written off by teachers as a no-hoper, is inspiring teenagers in one of London’s most deprived and beloved areas.

Jamie Fraser, who has built up a £75m value recruitment company, is also launching a £100,000 ‘Entrepreneur Fund’ to give youngsters from deprived communities a chance at creating a successful business.

The 28-year-old, who left school with four GCSEs and started his company in a tiny office with one phone, wants to create platforms and pathways to make it easier for youngsters to forge careers.

Tutors at Morley College London, which has a student base including many who have struggled with mainstream education, invited the CEO to deliver an address to students before the summer break and at the new intake’s induction at the start of the September term. Students will be able to apply to the fund to be mentored and also receive financial support for their ventures.

The College, in North Kensington, London, is close to Grenfell Tower, which was devastated by fire in 2017. It has joined forces with the nearby Portobello Business Centre to help families rebuild their lives.

“I am a big believer in people’s hard work and determination. I am always willing to give every single individual with young talent or someone who wants to be an entrepreneur a chance to make something out of their life,” said Jamie, whose InterEx company, a staffing agency specialising in tech, cloud, cyber security, and project delivery sectors, has offices in London, New York and Miami.

Jamie, from Essex, had a rocky childhood and school years but was given a chance by a recruitment firm boss who gave him a job despite his lack of qualifications and experience. “Someone recognised something in me and took a chance on me. They had faith in me and that was crucial,” he added.

“That is the sort of intervention I want to make in other people’s lives – to show them that they can achieve and give them direction to make it, providing they are prepared to work hard.” He has put up £100,000 for his Entrepreneur Fund and will interview applicants for the Fund, which will launch next month via the Portobello Business Centre website.

Morley College programme area manager for English Lucy Reese said: “Many of our learners dream of becoming entrepreneurs, but sometimes lack the guidance or contacts to do so. I know it would really benefit them to hear directly from Jamie what he thinks was the secret to his success.”

Portobello Business Centre (PBC) CEO Simon Shimmens said: “We are delighted to work with our partners at Morley College London to support the launch of Jamie’s grant programme for budding young entrepreneurs.

“As we know at PBC, start-up funding is often very difficult to obtain for young people with aspirations for self-employment or starting their own businesses. We support these individuals through workshops, courses and programmes, but Jamie will undoubtedly inspire young people with his own success and offers a fantastic opportunity to apply for a grant to help them realise their dreams.”

By Mark Adair – Correspondent, Bdaily

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