Speaker and businessman Sabirul Islam meets budding entrepreneurs at The King's AcademyDec 9 2010 by Mike Hughes, Evening Gazette

Pupils at The King’s Academy at Coulby Newham have had a week-long programme of workshops with guest speakers from a wide range of successful businesses.

Sabirul Islam, founder of the global motivational company The World At Your Feet, told the students how he had been driven into launching his own business after being sacked by his cousin when he was just 14.

At 16 he had done work for Merrill Lynch, by 17 he had written a motivational book which sold 42,500 copies, and he now runs a business based around motivation, which also includes producing an entrepreneurs’ board game and running a speakers’ bureau.

In January he plans to visit 20 countries in 12 months to inspire one million people.

He said: “I try to get across to young people that they really do have the world at their feet. I hope I have inspired them to spot opportunities to become the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

The students also worked with Yorkshire entrepreneur Shane Bratby, who founded his company based around his experiences of being disabled.

Now 26, he lost his mobility and was confined to a wheelchair at the age of 19 when the neurological disorder he was born with established a permanent grip.

It was the difficulty he faced trying to find mobility aids for his young disabled daughter, however, that drove him into business.

Now his company, which is due to open a shop in Middlesbrough soon, is stretching its influence across the Atlantic.

“I was always interested in business but struggled to find a job,” he said. “I thought what do I know the most about and realised it was mobility. I started a charity to help disabled people get their shopping delivered at home but wanted even more so launched mobilitybuy.com

“Suddenly I was rated number one on Google for mobility aids with one million hits a month.

“Now we have shops and are planning to franchise the brand.

“People should never let their disability stop them from what they want to do.

“The session has been brilliant working with pupils who require extra support.”

The academy, which has a business and enterprise specialism and a high proportion of students with physical disabilities and visual and hearing impairments, organised the week-long programme in line with Global Enterprise Week, set up by Dragon’s Den panellist Peter Jones.

Sean Ord, head of business and enterprise specialism at The King’s Academy, said: “The speakers proved to be truly inspirational - getting the students motivated, working together and generating great business ideas.”

Reproduced from: nebusiness.co.uk / Evening Gazette

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