This weekend (19th and 20th March) there are a series of photographic events being run around Birmingham as part of Capture Birmingham which coincides with the annual Photography Show at the National Exhibition Centre.
A fellow local photographer and I had hoped to put on a small exhibition as part of this weekend called Smarter Lives. Sadly, due to the owners of the venue having a change of heart at the last minute we had to cancel!
For my part I was planning on exhibiting a set of portraits from my ongoing project to capture some of Birmingham’s entrepreneurs who are doing so much to regenerate this great city. In the absence of a physical space to display these photographs here is a virtual version of my bit of the exhibition. This is the set of images I had hoped to display, together with a short back story of each of the people.
Jodie is the founder and managing director of JC Social Media, a specialist social media agency based in the city centre. Now in its fifth year, Jodie started Facebook and Twitter accounts for businesses straight after finishing her graduate scheme and now has a team of 11 social media account managers and social media trainers. In 2014 she was crowned Birmingham Young Professional of the Year.
Nick is an entrepreneur and the CEO of Whisk.com, a smart grocery shopping list application that allows users to send their lists into online grocery supermarket baskets with a few clicks. Since launching in June 2012, the company has won many of the UK’s biggest retailers, FMCG brands and digital food publishers as clients. Nick raised over $2m in funding from technology investors for Whisk, after pitching the business to Lord Sugar following getting to the final of the BBC Apprentice 2012. In 2011 Nick was named Birmingham Young Professional of the Year for entrepreneurship after being named Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year by Business Insider in 2010.
Joel is a multi-award-winning Entrepreneur, Business Speaker and Consultant, born and bred in Birmingham. He has over 15 years of experience in developing and motivating business owners, inspiring young people and in advising professional service firms on their social impact strategies. He is co-founder of BizBritain, who have funded over 600 new UK startups since 2013, and a non-executive director of Town Hall & Symphony Hall. Joel was named one of the Maserati Top 100 UK Entrepreneurs in 2015.
Immy is a co-founder of Impact Hub Birmingham, a network of citizens, makers, doers, entrepreneurs, activists and dreamers committed to building a better Birmingham and better world. Powered by a 6,000 sq. ft. collaborative workshop in the heart of Birmingham, the Impact Hub is an engine for passion, learning and outcomes where together, the community work to build a better, more fair city. Impact Hub Birmingham launched and successfully crowdfunded over £65,000 on Kickstarter, with more than 650 people backing the #EpicBrum campaign. Impact Hub Birmingham is part of a global association of more than 80 communities around the world with over 12,000 members all with a shared focus on creating positive impact.
Chris Meah & Bhish Patel
Chris and Bhish are the co-founders of School of Code:
“The School of Code believes that learning to code should be fun, collaborative and interactive – it’s not just for lonely, late nights in dark-lit rooms, with search engines as your only friend. We are creating a new approach to online learning which focuses on team coding challenges – journey with friends through the ups and the downs of learning to code.”
Matt is the co-founder of Bean2Bed, a concept that was born in the dorm rooms of Aston University in 2005. Matt, and fellow Aston graduate Max Bauer, had a lack of guest beds for visitors one weekend. “If only that bean bag in the corner could flatten out so that someone can sleep on it”, we thought and so was born Bean2Bed.
Anisa is a social entrepreneur and a recipient of the British Empire Medal for Services to Education and Young People and was named one of the Maserati Top 100 UK Entrepreneurs in 2016. Since the start of 2013 she has worked as Founder and CEO of BeatFreeks an organisation that taps into young people’s needs, wants and opinions and helps brands and companies in co-designing engagement strategies that help improve their effectiveness and authenticity.
Chris Sadler & Daniel Blyden
Chris and Daniel are the founders of Spaghetti labs, a design-led business that helps build the creative confidence needed to transform civic institutions. The Labs provide a ‘safe-fail’ space where professionals from across an organisation can come together to explore and prototype new solutions to challenges they face. Designed and hosted by Spaghetti, these Labs enable participants to experience new ways of working that they can take back to their organisation.
Michael is the co-founder and managing director of UniGreenScheme which collects, stores and sells surplus or unwanted equipment from university teaching and research labs. The company shares any net profits from selling these items with the institution, not only providing an income for them but also providing information on the metrics of reducing the universities carbon footprint by recycling these unwanted assets.