Back in the summer of 2002 I was living in South London, Battersea to be precise, I was working hard trying to turn my business vision into a sustainable reality.
That vision was using music as a vehicle to give young people from my community across London, many who were marginalised or disadvantaged, the opportunity to express their talent as signers, rappers, comedians and musicians. The Project was called Urban Voice Music Competition.
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I had very limited funds yet I was passionate about this project, for me it felt like I had found my Purpose. However the reality was although 10 years on from capturing this vision and setting to work to actualise it, I was making a strong impact in my community but money was in short supply. Nevertheless quitting on my vision was not an option.
I later learnt a quote from one of my Business mentors that rings true till this day
“Winners never quit and quitters never win”
I had utilised all my resources including my creativity and had been successful in getting two large media companies, The Voice Newspaper and radio station Choice FM on board as media sponsors, plus I had also secured sponsorship deals with a host of local and National companies like Island Records, Virgin megastore and Nandos. A host of urban artists were onboard aswell, like Megga Man from So Solid Crew, Ms Dynamite, Desiree and Maxi Priest to name a few. But the project was growing faster than I could fund it. My vision was manifesting and turning into the UK’s largest Urban Talent competition (yes it was X-Factor before X-Factor).
Then one day one of my sponsors made a passing comment “This is a great project Tony but why don’t you set up as a ‘Not For Profit Organisation’ because what you are doing is great, empowering and inspiring people within the community but you need funding”. I didn’t know what that was, but I had nothing to lose so I went for it and set up a Not for Profit Organisation and applied to the Arts Council for funding. To my surprise within 3 months we received a check for £75,000 towards the National programme. We never looked back after that. We were able to successfully run the project and went on to obtain almost £2 million in funding delivering regional and national programmes.
I often think about how that extra bit of financial support changed everything.
I share this story particularly if you are in a similar position as I was back then, a creative or social entrepreneur and need support to get your project or programme to the next stage, I would like to support you.
A couple of years ago I set up The DADA Bursary Fund to support people who can relate to my story. I created that vision of being able to have enough resources to fund others, when I began to become disillusioned with the funding regime back in 2007. Last year I supported a number of individuals to the value of over £100,000. People who were looking for mentoring and coaching but could not afford it due to their personal circumstances.
You’ll be pleased to know The DADA Bursary Fund is open again this year and so if you are a creative or social entrepreneur wanting to make an impact and a difference in your community and think we can support YOU then apply. We still have over £60,000 in the Bursary Fund to invest, ensuring that those who need it can begin to cultivate the right MINDSET and resilience to keep going.
“Investors don’t invest in companies they invest in The Person“
Get your mind settled on Success with the MINDreSET 90 Day Challenge.
Through the bursary programme you can apply for a bursary to cover up to 75% of the cost once you satisfy the criteria.
However this time I want to go even further by supporting the New Age Entrepreneurs who are tackling some of our social problems in new and innovative ways.
This will be done through signposting and referring you to:
- Our associates at NatWest and HSBC bank who can lend eligible businesses from as little as £20,000 – £2,000,000
- Contacts I have at Funding bodies that support creative and social entrepreneurs with grants up to £15,000
- My team of Master Mentors who each have over 20 years of business experience and who are looking to support the next generation of entrepreneurs
- My small team of investors who are looking for investment opportunities
During our recent Book Study Club session I pointed out what some would say was a coincidence, I on the other hand would say if you pay attention then you notice that life moves in cycles.
Approximately 100 years ago:
- We had a major pandemic
- We had a war that followed that pandemic
- We charged into a new age (The industrial revolution)
- We had a major depression
- We had lots of people going through economic crisis
- Napoleon Hill wrote the book Think & Grow Rich
Despite all the above it was during this period that a small number of people rose up and went on to become the wealthiest people of the century, because whilst everyone wasn’t looking they were looking and seizing opportunities.
By the way did you know the word Entrepreneur derives from a latin word “prehendere” which means “to seize, or grab or take control”. That’s exactly what they did. The question is will you take control of your opportunities?
What did they know that the majority of others did not? Napoleon’s book title gives a clue… How are you using your mind, are you thinking thoughts and ideas based on the old paradigm or are you a part of the New Era of Entrepreneur? Join the MINDreSET CHALLENGE and ensure that your mind is buttressed to stand the extreme negativity coming through the news and other media channels and focus on seeing how through solving a human problem or providing a much needed service life will repay you handsomely.
Here Are My Tips For Resilience As An Entrepreneur
- Have a “I Can Do” attitude not a “I Can’t Do” attitude
- Stay the “Hell away” from people who have a poverty mindset – Always talking about what is not possible
- Train and develop your “Creative Mind” – Get comfortable problem solving
- Create and cultivate your “Belief system”
- Cultivate your subconscious mind by feeding it every morning and night through visualisation images of what you want to experience
- Create a “Possibility Thinking Environment” in your mind
- Focus on your vision not your circumstance
- Never stop looking after as well as working on yourself
- Your Mind: Working on the quality of your thoughts and your thinking style.
- Your Body: Working on your physical health and well being from the inside out.
- Your Soul: Working on your emotions and the quality of your heart.