Islington People: Budding social entrepreneur shows young people how to make own jobs

PUBLISHED: 19:51 29 November 2011

Junior Ogunyemi

Junior Ogunyemi


»At 21 years old Junior Ogunyemi has already launched two booming businesses and bagged a string of awards.

Now the budding Sir Richard Branson has penned a book that aims to show other students and youngsters how to become entrepreneurial hotshots.

How To Be A Student Entrepreneur was published last month, and has a timely message following recent reports of rocketing youth unemployment, with 1,800 18 to 24-year-olds signing on in Islington.

The high-achiever said: “I want the book to be part of the solution to that.

“I want to show people how to get motivated and create their own jobs if there’s nothing out there for them.”

Junior, who has lived in Cruikshank Street, Islington, since moving from Nigeria as a two-year-old, discovered a knack for making money when he was at sixth-form.

He was tasked with putting together a yearbook, but decided to film an end-of-term DVD instead – and generated a tidy £300 by selling copies.

He soaked up what he could from business books and by attending talks from the likes of Virgin tycoon Branson, who he names as a key inspiration, and Sir Alan Sugar.

His first social enterprise, a football coaching academy, kicked off while he was studying at Queen Mary University, London, and goes into schools – including his former stomping ground Holloway School in Hilldrop Road, Holloway – to teach youngsters life skills through the game.

Publishing a student magazine that spread to 15 universities was his next venture.

‘Social enterprises’

“I had lots of other students asking me how I did it,” he said.

“They had ideas and wanted to know how to develop them, and I wanted to help out. I decided to put all my experiences down in a book.”

The guidebook, which was finished in three weeks, is crammed full of practical advice, from time and stress management to developing ideas, securing funding and structuring a business.

Junior, whose honours include the Black Youth Achievements award for business and enterprise and the Unltd Sport Relief award, added: “I’m really into social enterprises.

“I would not say no to the flash car, but it’s not what drives me.”

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