5 May 2016
Two young entrepreneurial brothers are about to embark on their next venture after one of them was announced as a winner of a national competition.
Umar Ghaffar, 16, and his brother Usman, 19, are planning to build a network of successful business people who would mentor young entrepreneurs in Nottingham and deliver talks in schools and colleges.
Umar came up with the idea and it won him first place in the Northern Region of the My Community Challenge, run by HSBC in partnership with the business My Kinda Future.
Entrants had to submit an idea for a community project that could improve people’s lives. There were five regional winners who each received £250 to make their plan a reality and a week’s work experience at HSBC.
Umar had to pitch his idea during a live web interview with senior representatives from HSBC and My Kinda Future.
He is now planning to start work on the project with Usman, who also attended Bilborough College and is at Nottingham Trent University studying Business and Entrepreneurship.
The pair, of Forest Fields, Nottingham, already have one business under their belts, a company called Juicy Deals, which is a website that offers the latest discounts from 27 high street retailers including Boots, New Look and Urban Outfitters.
The company was formerly called Offers Cloud but the brothers have decided to rename it to appeal to a younger market and the website has been redesigned ready to launch after the summer.
Usman said: “We started out with about 20 retailers and we’ve since managed to recruit another seven and we are negotiating contracts with more. The most recent big name to sign up is the shoe store, Office. However, at the moment Umar and I are concentrating more on our studies before we re-launch the website.”
Umar said the next project would be the network of business people to monitor young entrepreneurs.
He said: “It’s very hard to start a business or find out more about how to do this when you are under 18 so we thought it would be a good idea to set up a network of successful business people who could act as mentors for young people interested in business.
“At first it will be Usman and I hopefully going into schools and colleges and talking about what we’ve done so far and how we’ve done it. Then we would like to get some of the people we’ve worked with and met on board.”
Chris Bradford, Principal at Bilborough College, said: “We’ve been very proud of everything that Usman achieved while he was a student here and since, and now Umar seems to be following hot on his heels. What’s particularly impressive about the brothers’ latest initiative is that they’re building on what they’ve learnt in their business careers so far for the benefit of other potential young entrepreneurs. It’s a credit to their energy, imagination and sense of social responsibility.”
Usman has made the finals of and won several national competitions as well as picking up Nottingham Post Student of the Year Skills Award, an accolade which Umar also won last year.
The idea for the original Offers Cloud website secured Usman a place among 30 entrants selected for final of The Pitch UK last year, a national Dragons’ Den-style competition where he had to pitch his business idea.
Usman has also picked up the Sir John Peace Award for Entrepreneurship and the XMA Award for the Most Innovative Use of IT.
He also won Matthew Hancock’s ‘What If’ challenge out of 432 entries and spent the day shadowing the Minister of State at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and his Parliamentary Office team.
Bilborough Sixth Form College caters for students aged 16 to 19 years old, wanting to study AS and A-levels, BTEC or the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme in an academic, supportive and sociable environment.
25 February 2021