When I left my Brazil and my job at Microsoft – I was about to turn 21 – I had no idea what I my life was going to be like in the UK. I didn’t speak much English and ended up washing dishes and collecting glasses in bars in Soho to pay my rent.
In my mid twenties I launched a business, worked hard, made it relatively successful and sold it then last year I started a social enterprise – mi-hub.com – helping migrant entrepreneurs to start their own businesses in London. Because of the work I have been doing (mentoring and supporting migrant entrepreneurship) I was nominated for the Maserati 100 Award.
Maserati, and the Centre for Entrepreneurs (CFE) have announced the second ‘Maserati 100’ index; a definitive list of Britain’s most successful philanthropists, investors, mentors and advisors, and ascending entrepreneurs, who are today supporting the next generation of up and coming business talent.
Those named ranged from 19 to 90 years in age, as such the list features a high calibre of diverse and vibrant British entrepreneurs, who not only help contribute to the growing UK economy, but also provide much needed support to tomorrow’s business leaders. Some famous entrepreneurs featured in the list:
Sir Tom Farmer, founder of Kwikfit and the Farmer Foundation. Sir Tom is the first Scot to be awarded the prestigious ‘Andrew Carnegie Medal for Philanthropy’ and was appointed Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) for his work as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
Richard Read, Jam Jar Investments. Richard is best known as the co-founder of Innocent Drinks. Co-founded in 1999, the Innocent brand has grown from strength to strength and now sells over two million drinks per week. Following the sale of the majority share of Innocent to Coca-Cola in 2013, Richard and his co-founders went on to launch Jam Jar Investments which has supported brands such as Graze and ToucanBox.
Chrissie Rucker, founder of The White Company; who started the company from her boyfriend’s spare room and has grown the company to 50 stores nationwide with over a £144m turnover. Chrissie was made an MBE in 2010, and in 2012 was chosen as Private Businesswoman of the Year by the Financial Times. Chrissie regularly finds time to mentor young social entrepreneurs through Expert Impact.
The award was at the Mayfair Hotel and it was a great evening.
Matt Smith, director of CFE was there and we talked a lot about the benefits of migrant entrepreneurs in the UK. The Mayfair Hotel is owned by a migrant entrepreneur, said Matt.
If anyone had told me 14 years ago, when I left Brazil that I would one day be on the Sunday Times list winning an award I would probably have laughed at them. Reality is that you never know where your hard work is going to take you.
What is next in the agenda?
The Migrant Business Show on 6th April at Westminster Central Hall. If you would like to meet migrant entrepreneurs from all over the world, you can exhibit or come as a guest.
If you’d like to exhibit, see the media pack here.
To get a free ticket for the show, visit out site: www.migrantbusinessshow.com.
I hope to see you on the show!