Updated: Jun 25, 2021
Steven Bartlett, a 28-year-old Entrepreneur, is the founder and former CEO of The Social Chain, a social media marketing agency worth £300 million. Bartlett was recently announced as the newest member of the UK hit series Dragons' Den making him the youngest judge to ever join. Before him, the youngest judge was 35-year-old Sara Davies who joined in 2019. The popular show, allowed small and hopeful entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas to five eager multi-millionaires who want to invest.
His journey is nothing short of compelling. Growing up Bartlett wasn’t a very productive student, he felt that the system was extremely restrictive and his lack of enthusiasm towards it meant that he didn’t participate in his schoolwork. However, he always had a very entrepreneurial mindset and would run small businesses within his school selling sweets and doing events. His work meant he was unable to attend school and his punctuality fell to 20%. Bartlett was eventually expelled from his school. He then started to consider alternatives besides university, as he described the university experience as “paying to learn nothing”. Of course, for some qualifications like doctors, lawyers, or accountants, university is essential; but it is not the only route to achieve success.
What is it like for other black entrepreneurs? Well, although there has been a vast increase in the percentage of black people pursuing entrepreneurial work in Western society, they still seem to be having an incredibly difficult time making a dent in the industry. It's no shocker that typically black communities tend to be the most impoverished due to racism, which means that most black entrepreneurs have very little financial support around them and are having to use crowdfunding or external work to support themselves. Due to the initiatives of the Black Lives Matter Movement, which is tackling racial inequality, black issues were put in the spotlight and the popularity of buying black-owned has created a huge shift in the paradigm. Other groups such as Jewish and Asian people pride themselves in recycling their money within their communities, whether that is funding local businesses or investing in their families. The Black community is now adopting this way of thinking. Historically, institutionalised racism, slavery and a lack of workers rights have prevented blacks in the West from establishing generational wealth easily.
As of recently Steven Bartlett is worth around £60 million and is now the author of Sunday Times bestseller "Happy Sexy Millionaires Unexpected Truths about Fulfilment, Love and Success". He also has a successful podcast called "Diary of a CEO". From humble beginnings eating flour and powdered oats while working in a call centre, he has now reached his main goal to create content that can educate future entrepreneurs.
Black people have to get out of the mindset, put upon them, that their skin colour limits them. Steven Bartlett shows us that you do not have to follow the stereotypical structure within society to achieve success. If you know what you want to do, have a plan, and feel confident, you can achieve success.