People with Voices is a social enterprise legally structured as a Community Interest Company. Its primary aim is to encourage participation in the news media among groups under-represented as mainstream journalists in the UK. Our target groups are people from working class, black and minority ethnic backgrounds. We offer low-cost journalism training and an online platform for anyone to publish news, features and commentaries and aim to present diverse perspectives often missing from the mainstream news media. Our latest initiative: Black Bloggers UK Network is the first online directory and social network for African Caribbean bloggers based in the UK. We recognise that journalism has evolved tremendously over the last decade or so and is no longer a profession restricted to those employed within the industry but has now become an activity that anyone can engage in.
What made you decide to start a business?
I wanted to try to address the under-representation of black and minority ethnic journalists in the UK by encouraging participation in the news media in a way that supports people who may not want to be full-time journalists, but who still want to have a voice in the media by getting their articles published on a quality news site.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Combining my role at People with Voices with my other professional activities – as a journalism lecturer – and I am also doing a PhD!
How have you overcome this challenge?
By proper planning and time management – but there are still not enough hours in the day! I work around 14 hours a day and don’t have much of a social life but I’m hoping to take on another director within the next 6-12 months so that should lighten my load a little.
What advice or tips would you give to other business owners?
Don’t start a business just to make money. Think about how you can make a positive change to people’s lives. Empowering others is tremendously rewarding.
What’s your favourite quote?
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
– Dr Martin Luther King
Who inspires you?
Dr Martin Luther King, Marcus Garvey, Dr Cornel West, Noam Chomsky