An award-winning businessman, written off as a ‘no-hoper’ at school, has extended a £100,000 grant scheme for youngsters blighted by the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Jamie Fraser, who built up the £75 million InterEx recruitment business from scratch, has established an entrepreneur programme aimed at those who have struggled with mainstream education since the tragic fire.
He originally launched the fund for students of Morley College, which is located in the shadow of Grenfell. Now he has decided to expand the scheme to all residents of the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, one of the most deprived areas in the country after being inundated with enquiries. The award is aimed at mentoring teenagers and creating pathways for them to create businesses and improve the economy in the area.
“The amount of talent, energy and determination in the area is uplifting and I want to help them get going, just as I was given a chance to prove what I could do,” says Jamie, who left school with four GCSEs and started his high tech staffing agency – which has 100 staff and bases in London, New York and Miami – with one phone in a cramped office.
Jamie, originally from Essex who left school at 16 to work on a market stall, teamed with the Portobello Business Centre and Morley College, both close to the Grenfell Tower, which was devastated by fire in 2017.
“The interest in the programme has been phenomenal and I want to extend it to make sure as many youngsters as possible in the area get a shot at it,” adds Jamie. “All I needed was someone to believe in me. That first step made me work harder and be more dedicated to my success. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it was not for someone’s faith in me.
“I want to show that faith in others and help them create successful businesses. Often, it just takes that recognition of someone’s talents and a little push to start them off.”
The entrepreneurship scheme will provide business advice, financial support and personal mentoring sessions from Jamie for the winners who will be chosen in the Spring.
“I believe that this programme will show people that the setbacks in life are actually opportunities to be better. The only thing stopping anyone from success is their mind, and with determination you can overcome anything, ” says Jamie, who has also launched a hugely successful online coaching programme JAMF Growth
“I am here to give this chance to another aspiring entrepreneur with a great business idea I am a firm believer that hard work always pays off. I am excited to work with the applicants and to guide them to success.”