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Commerce and Industry

The Journal For Business to Business Marketing

From homelessness to House of Commons for young entrepreneur

A young entrepreneur from East Hull is planning to act on some tips from the very top after rubbing shoulders at a House of Commons reception with politicians and international business people.

Aaron Conroy, who overcame the obstacles of joblessness and homelessness to launch his own business, said he drew confidence and inspiration from the visit and from being named runner-up in the International Association of Bookkeepers (IAB) Student of the Year award.

Aaron was nominated for the global award by Hull-based Golding Computer Services, where he completed the IAB Level 1 Certificate in Computerised Accounting for Business as part of the Making Changes for Careers (MC4C) initiative. Aaron is now progressing with Goldings to Level 2, having seized the opportunity to turn his life around.

MC4C is part of the Humber Learning Consortium’s Youth Employment Initiative under Hull City Council’s regeneration services. The programme is supported by the European Social Fund and offers a lifeline for young people from underprivileged backgrounds who wanted to develop business ideas.

Aaron had struggled through college courses and mundane jobs, even sleeping rough and sofa-surfing at times, but with the help of MC4C he launched Fenburg, selling watches, jewellery and other fashion accessories online.

Di Garbera, General Manager at Goldings, said:

Aaron is exceptionally bright and he did so well at Level 1 that we nominated him for the IAB awards. They are open to students worldwide, some of whom spend all their time working on accounts, so it is a great achievement to finish as runner-up.

“We visited the House of Commons for a celebration with champagne and afternoon tea and we all had a fantastic time. More importantly, Aaron was inspired by the whole occasion and now has some exciting new ideas.”

Aaron added:

I used to live in London but it was a long time ago and I never went near the House of Commons. I was nervous and excited when we walked in and especially when they gave me a badge which had my business name on.

“Being in the presence of MPs and international business people was very interesting and opened my eyes a bit. It boosted my confidence to have so many people congratulating me and it made me think a bit more about how I can develop my business. I’m thinking about introducing new products under my own brand and I’m also going to do more networking.”

The awards ceremony was hosted by Fabian Hamilton MP and the presentations were made by Simon Wicks, CEO of the sponsors Butler Rose, nationwide specialists in the recruitment of accountancy and finance professionals.

Simon said:

As corporate associate partners to the IAB and sponsor of the Student of the Year Award, it’s really rewarding to see some of the new talent in the bookkeeping world emerging through the IAB.  

“I had the pleasure of interviewing Aaron during the selection process for the awards. What really stood out about Aaron were not only his emerging bookkeeping skills, but also the fact that he had been determined to improve his education and his career prospects – despite facing some challenges and hardships earlier in his life – including setting up his own business.

I was delighted to present this certificate to him, recognising his achievements, and I’m certain Aaron has a bright future ahead of him.

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