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Barclays Black Founder Accelerator 2021:
FirstGens

 

FirstGens is an award-winning early stage student service venture working towards its mission to improve the number of talented students who are amongst the first in their family to attend university from non-academic backgrounds securing professional graduate roles by partnering with universities and companies across the UK.

Why did you join the Barclays Black Founder Accelerator?

To gain access to invaluable mentor insight, expand my network by joining a community of like-minded people and accelerate the business idea.
 

Why did you want to start your business?

Because I experienced the disadvantages of having no parental guidance transitioning to higher education or navigating graduate recruitment.

I saw an education gap, opportunity gap, skills gap and a class pay gap which needs addressing. I was inspired to support others who walked a similar path to myself.
 

What would be your desired outcome from this programme?

Gain insight into business tools, platforms, information that I never knew about before.
 

Which entrepreneur inspires you the most and why?

Patrica Bright - She is also a working-class first-generation student - she has built a pretty large empire by tapping into the opporitnites of the internet.

Patricia shares her learnings, mistakes and seeks to elevate her community...whilst making a LOT of money in the process. She inspires me to build generational wealth.
 

What has been your biggest win in your entrepreneurial journey?

Becoming a Prince's Trust Award winner for the 2020/21 cohort - National Young Innovator Award.

What has been your biggest challenge?

knowing how to scale/future financial planning. Also, a challenge has been battling imposter syndrome and self doubt - which I momentarily conquer when winning programmes such as this.
 

Where did you go for business advice and how did it help you?

University 'venture team' - provided grants, basic business workshops and mentoring.
 

What drives you to make your business a success?

Because the small pilot I delivered resulted in long-term and high impact transformative results. I genuinely believe FirstGens services will help thousands of young people who need it the most.

Particularly after the pandemic where the most disadvantaged students education has been disrupted and the education gap has been exacerbated. I also believe a diver of the success stems from my high work ethic and the passion to continuously break barriers - I was told I would get D's at GCSE, but attained A*-C, I was discouraged from university, but I went on to gain a 1st Class LLB Honours.

I very much enjoy a challenge.
 

What advice would you give other founders thinking about starting their own business?

Do it for the thousands/millions of people you can be providing value for.

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