With talk surrounding the ‘Big Society’ and having an increase in social insight, being a social entrepreneur is something that should be looked into. This was my first trans-Atlantic interview and due to the bliss of technology – it was held over Skype….
Nathaniel Peat is a great example of an entrepreneur of the next generation. He was amongst just three young British entrepreneurs who were selected to represent Britain at the G20 Young Entrepreneur Summit in Toronto, Canada, in late June 2010 (as a UK delegate with Enterprise UK and the Institute of Directors). His CV is packed and it is hard to believe that he is only 29. He created the award-winning ‘Safety Box’ which was launched in 2007 to proactively address the growing concern of knife crime, gun crime and anti-social behaviour. In 2009 he appeared on the BBC’s ‘The Last Millionaire’ and is now set to share his experience on a global stage.
Somewhere along his busy schedule I caught up with the Tottenham-raised innovative pilot; to discuss the conference, his work and inspirations, experiences with poverty, and how to reach entrepreneur greatness…
Firstly Nathaniel, how was the summit?
The summit was an amazing experience for me as an individual to go to; so that I could actually earmark my voice on global issues that really are dear to my heart. I have travelled to places like India and parts of Africa and I have seen poverty on another level. In the Caribbean I have seen people that have struggled to get up, and as a result of that – getting into a life of crime. Growing up in inner-city London as a young person, I saw so many negative things in my life and kids with no aspiration, because people did not want to invest in them, give them the opportunity or believe in them. So for me, going to the summit was an amazing honour to say the least (especially to know that the Enterprise UK had nominated me to represent). I was selected to represent the whole of the UK and with that, the black community too; not only here in the UK, but the black community globally – as I was one of the only black delegates of theG20 countries. The summit was a fantastic experience for growth, and also for the development of oneself, a promotion of service and serving other people… The greatest significance in life is found through service, it is not found through the attainment of wealth.
The aim of the summit was to assemble delegations from the G20 nations to identify and examine the issues impeding young entrepreneurs around the world. The discussions then resulted in the development of a communiqué identifying shared key policy issues and approaches. This information was then presented to the G20 Leaders to help them to maximize the economic potential of young entrepreneurs in their respective economies. What was the result of the summit and the outcomes of the key policy areas that were focused on?
There were five topics that we were given by the G20 leaders to give recommendations upon:
1) Access to funding
2) Co coordinated support
3) Entrepreneurship culture
4) Regulation and Taxation
5) Education and Taxation.
For me, my purpose for actually going there was to focus on three particular areas. My position was to create a voice for people that do not have the voice necessarily…
• Speaking of countries such as those in Africa, South America, and India, that don’t have enough of a voice on the global stage.
• To create and to talk about investing in the countries in a different way.
• To gain investment through angel investors and entrepreneurs – not through government. (as some governments are running out of money…)
The governments of the world, from IMF to the UN, have not got the money to deal with it. However, there are lots of entrepreneurs globally (angel investors) that can invest to develop an enterprising culture within developing countries. I am talking about investing in the people of the country, as opposed to giving them money which is like charity… It is not about handing them money, it is not about giving them fish, it is about teaching them how to fish. It’s about giving them access to training so that the youth in these countries can develop with an entrepreneurship culture whereby they can lift themselves out of poverty. A lot of these countries do not necessarily want charity. They need assistance, they need resources and they need development. So my voice (at the summit) was the creative voice for them; which was to say, let us focus on education and training – an education system has an essential role in enabling young entrepreneurs to acquire the knowledge and skills that are required to succeed in business and in life. As a result of that, they can lift themselves out of poverty.
Now is a time more than ever to connect NGOs, corporate companies, entrepreneurs, local governments, international governments and banks all together. We can shape global stability for countries to get out of poverty, and not having corporations just milking people, but having them invest into people. Many entrepreneurs agreed with what I said in the summit, and as a result of that I was put into the communiqué document. I can say now that I have had an impact on a global level.
What are your thoughts on debt culture, and how can the next generation avoid falling into a spiral of debt?
Debt holds people back as it is a limitation on your break into success. In my opinion, rich people are very different from wealthy people. ‘Rich’ people get lots of money and they spend lots of money, they borrow lots of money – and they CAN work really hard. But ‘wealthy’ people invest in people……….
Read the rest of the interview here on Ctrl Alt Shift