This year Dorset Growth Hub sponsored the “Entrepreneur Star” category at the Rock Star awards and, if we’re being honest, the candidates blew us away as they are some of the most inspiring people we've met in recent years.
Rich Burn, our Digital Manager, interviewed the three finalists; Sophie Rischmiller of Emporia Creative, Elliot Plate of Young Dreamer Next Achiever and William St James of St James Studio and the list of qualities and skills he saw in all of the finalists was endless. They showed an incredible amount of passion; an enviable abundance of confidence; they are incredible idea generators; as well as such impressive drive, switched-on business minds, and enthusiasm. But these qualities, twinned with a grounding on life and business, has helped them at these early stages in the entrepreneurial career to make decisions with a knowledge base that is almost way beyond their years.
During the interviews for this category, we heard stories of failure, loss, heartache, and huge life and business challenges. But all of the finalists displayed an unprecedented ability to overcome, to learn quick, to dust themselves off and grow as individuals - demonstrating some of the key skills to succeed as entrepreneurs… But also softer skills such as empathy and ability to read people’s human instincts which are invaluable and work in tandem with their business skills.
We know for sure, as should each and every one of the candidates, that you will succeed.
William St James, the winner of this award, explained what the award means to him:
"Winning Entrepreneur Star of the year has been amazing. Previous to the Rock Star Awards I was very much in my own world, living my business day by day and not really giving much thought to what I was achieving. As all business owners can appreciate your sometimes all consumed by what is happening each day, that it's hard to actually take those rare 5 minutes to sit back and think 'wow, we've come along way' - for me that was one of my biggest take away's from the awards, that and also having my eyes opened by the incredible young entrepreneurs, change makers and community heroes that we have surrounding us here in Bournemouth, and further afield.
One of the key things that I hope the awards and the incredible platform Dorset Growth Hub have afforded is the opportunity to shine a positive light on children in foster care, and young adults that might have spent some time in the foster care system, that they are capable of amazing things. It is often quite difficult growing in care to feel you have the same access to opportunities as 'normal' children your own age, and that there's something abnormal about your life which can make some people shy away from taking opportunities that help them grow both personally and professionally.
I freely admit I was really lucky to have Helen as my foster mother. She really went above and beyond, encouraged me to push harder and better myself with each passing opportunity. She helped me embrace change and learn from my failures and always encourage me to get back up and keep on fighting. There's so much value that young children and adults in foster care can give to society, and I hope through partnering with the local authority on key initiatives, and other agency bodies, we can get more foster children into business, chasing their dreams, going off to university and ultimately become valuable members of society and believing in the fact that they, just like me are capable of achieving some pretty amazing things."
.... and told us what the future holds:
"In the coming months we are aiming big... we would love to grow the business by 200%, taking on new members of the team to help us in our effort to deliver impactful marketing campaigns, content and digital platforms with clients at home here in the UK, as well as strategic global locations such as the United States and Dubai which we have had recent interest from.
There are also plans underway for us to begin investing in a state of the art production facility that will enable us to deliver the next level of content and creative services for our clients, allowing us to take things to the next level"
To read more about all the Rock Stars, click here.