Personal development

Inspiring Stories

Interviews with inspiring characters about how they achieved their success

By Fraser Graham Apr 9, 2020

You are in the right place if you want to...

Hear from some inspirational characters as part of our Inspiring stories series! Find out how they overcome challenges in their personal lives and careers to better equip them for the world of work today.

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Past Inspiring Stories

Monday 6th July @ 12:00 - Helena Chan

Helena worked for the United Nations and not-for-profit sector for ten years before pursuing her other passion, fine jewelry. During her time at the UN, she performed economic analysis and built a digital media department from inception. With the philosophy that "your biggest regrets in life are the things you did not have the courage to try, not the ones you tried and failed at," she pursued and successfully made a career change into the world of jewelry. She worked for a top colored stone dealer, Christie's auction house, and Lorraine Schwartz to truly learn the craft from beginning to end. In 2018 she started her own business, making high-end bespoke jewelry.

Friday 19th June @ 12:00 - Sonya Barlow

Sonya Barlow is the Founder of diversity initiative Like-Minded Females, a women of colour in technology and public speaker. She has won numerous awards including Rising star UK 2017, UK Tech business women finalist sponsored by PWC 2018 and Pitch superwomen 100 2019. Her passion areas include cultural change, diversity & Inclusion and confidence building.

Friday 12th June @12:00 - Dina Grishin

What if your dream job didn't exist...yet? What if it gets invented in 3 years? How do you go about finding it and what the hell do you do in the meantime? Find out from Quarter Life Crisis expert, Dina Grishin, how she navigated the world of work and what steps helped her identify her dream job of being a life and career coach.

Friday 22nd May @ 12:00 - Hashi Mohamed

He came to Britain aged nine, as an unaccompanied child refugee. He attended some of Britain’s worst schools and was raised exclusively on state benefits. Yet today he is a successful barrister, with an Oxford degree and a CV that includes numerous appearances on the BBC.

Monday 18th May @ 12:00 - Lee Chambers 

Lee grew up on a council estate in Bolton. Being the first member of his family to go to University, he struggled and failed his second year, suffering from mental health issues. He managed to graduate but after losing his job in the credit crunch, he decided to go it alone. Today he runs two successful companies, despite being told he was too young and to diverse to succeed, after losing the ability to walk in 2014.

Friday 15th May @ 12:00 - Harry Spear 

Harry is a 24-year-old entrepreneur and co-founder of Caribbean Elective. An organisation that inspires young lives by uniting young people across the Commonwealth. Caribbean Elective offers students from the UK the opportunity to travel to the Caribbean to participate in work experience and volunteering opportunities that are designed to ignite and support growth within local Caribbean communities. Current initiatives include community mental health care, enterprise, and education system reform. Caribbean Elective brings together young people's bright ideas with those who need them the most to create real and lasting social change. Harry's journey to entrepreneurship started at school. The combination of the pressure to succeed, a long-lasting battle with dyslexia, and a string of constantly failing exams eventually took their toll and he left school with his confidence at an all-time low. However, things took a turn for the better when he was inspired by how young people in the Caribbean faced adversity every day of their lives with a smile on their faces and the determination to live their life to the fullest. And so Caribbean Elective was born on the Prince's Trust Enterprise Programme, with the intention to share this inspiration. Alongside running his business Harry is now also a public speaker, mentor, and ambassador of the Prince's Trust, sharing his journey to help young people change their lives and inspire those with the ability to, to support them in doing so.

Monday 11th May @ 12:00 - Safia

Safia Hothi-Bellamy is the co-director of Pure Punjabi Ltd, a top 8 UK Indian Cookery School, food events & products business. The company focuses on the preservation and teaching of traditional cookery from Northen India, with Safia at the help of all food production and kitchen management for corporate and wedding events as well as menu development for both food products and services. After Joining forces with Pure Punjabi's founder in 2013, Safia went on to become one of the top three finalists in the 'young entrepreneur' category at The Enterprising Wiltshire Awards, achieved Great Taste Awards for the business, and was appointed as an International Gourmet Guru by Love Pulses, a campaign organised by The United Nations. She also represented Pure Punjabi at 10 Downing Street, as part of their success as being named one of the U.K. SmallBiz100.

Monday 4th May @ 12:00 - Amani Simpson

Amani Simpson is an award-winning social entrepreneur, film-maker and youth ambassador. At the age of 21, he was stabbed 7 times after intervening in a robbery attempt. After amassing over 2.5 million youtube views of his short film 'AMANI' (starring Hollywood actor, Joivan Wade) he now uses his short film and story to transform the lives of young people across the country.

Friday 1st May @ 13:00 - Sadi Kahn MBE - Noble Khan 

When you meet Sadi for the first time you will be struck by her intelligence and energy, both are boundless, yet this has not always been the case. Sadi has faced many tough times in her life and at one point after suffering domestic violence, was left with no home or money, just the clothes she stood in. Despite all her suffering, Sadi used these experiences to turn her life around.

Monday 27th April @ 12:00 - Gideon 

“In life, we all go through trials and tribulations, it’s part of the package unfortunately. Some pain more than others. Words can’t describe the pain you feel when you get stabbed 14 times, 5 of them stab wounds being 5 inches deep and 1 stab wound being an inch away from killing you. With determination and the right support system around you can come of out that situation stronger than you’ve ever been unlocking hidden talents, skills and qualities that you never knew you had. You can also win awards too!” Then in a next email, he said... I am currently a mentor, youth worker and motivational speaker. I work all around the UK mentoring young people and delivering empowering workshops. I'm also the young ambassador of the year winner 2019.

Friday 24th April @ 12:00: Alex Doyle - Altr

Alex Doyle came up with the idea behind Altr while studying history at the University of Warwick. Suffering with acne, single, and fed up with feeling self-conscious about it, Alex tried cosmetics after advice from a female friend, and never turned back. Finding concealer a particularly effective way to cover up his spots and dark circles, Alex wondered why more men weren’t wearing cosmetics, and more-so why cosmetic brands weren’t including men in their campaigns. After a bit of digging, he found that there were no brands effectively marketing to men that he could relate to, and decided to start one himself! Altr London now has over 50’000 customers, distributes worldwide, and has featured in press such as Mashable, Celebuzz, and The Telegraph.

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