Multimillionaire Jamal Edwards inspires students at Havering College of Further and Higher Education

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Entrepreneur Jamal Edwards, founder of the pioneering multimedia company SB.TV, inspired students to follow their dreams when he visited Havering College of Further and Higher Education (http://www.havering-college.ac.uk) as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013.

Jamal Edwards at Havering College of Further and Higher Education

Jamal Edwards at Havering College of Further and Higher Education

There are people who look at things and ask ‘why?’. I say dream of things and ask ‘why not?

Jamal, a self-made multi-millionaire whose empire has been valued at £8 million, was a hit with students when he shared his experiences and offered advice to the next generation of potential entrepreneurs.

The 23-year-old took to the stage in The Space at the Ardleigh Green Campus in Hornchurch, Greater London, to be interviewed by 16-year-old Jack Savage, a BTEC Level 3 Media student with ambitions to become the next Jonathan Ross.

Jamal's transformation from a teenager working in Top Shop to one of the biggest names in the music industry began when his parents bought him a video camera one Christmas which he used to upload films of a fox in his backyard to YouTube. He quickly progressed to filming friends rapping and singing and now SB.TV - named after his rapping name Smokey Barz - is close to receiving two million YouTube hits.

Jamal, an ambassador for The Prince’s Trust and a friend of Sir Richard Branson, told students: "Chase your dreams, not the competition. There are people who look at things and ask ‘why?’. I say dream of things and ask ‘why not?’.”

There followed a lively Q & A session when second year BTEC Music Technology student Idris Wint-Miller, 17, from Upminster, seized the moment to impress the media mogul by performing a rap song he has written.

Idris said: "It was amazing to have Jamal Edwards come to our college. I just decided to grab the opportunity and perform. I am excited that Jamal reacted by saying it sounded good and that he wants to hear more."

Students donated money to Children in Need in return for a copy of Jamal’s best-selling book Self Belief: The Vision.

Jamal also spent time in the college’s £6million Centre of Creative Arts, visiting the music tech studios.

Havering College Enterprise Hub co-ordinator Laura Trapp said: "Jamal's visit to Havering College went down a storm with our students. Global Entrepreneurship Week is all about encouraging the next generation of entrepreneurs to consider starting up their own businesses. As a college we are committed to harnessing and developing our students' talents and encouraging our students to follow their passions whatever they may be. Jamal is a perfect example of how dedication to one's passion can pay off."

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Kathy Canham

Kathy Canham
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