Entrepreneur tells of ‘amazing’ impact Thames Gateway Business Awards win had on his charity
- Credit: Archant
An entrepreneur who secured an exclusive top prize at last year’s Thames Gateway Business Awards has spoken of the “amazing” effect it has had on his charity.
Trevor Blackman, chief executive of Ape Media, took home the Judges’ Choice Award, winning a £12,000 advertising package with Archant across its London print and web portfolio.
Ape Media, Broadway, Stratford, offers training opportunities to aspiring young entrepreneurs, in areas such as music, and Trevor says its reach has been massively expanded thanks to the awards win.
“For me, the impact has just been so great,” said the 43-year-old. “We have got more business and awareness of what we do, we have managed to get more young adults on that first rung of the ladder, they are running their own businesses and making their own money. It’s just been amazing.”
Trevor, one of the charity’s founders, spoke of the opportunities opened up by the advertising package, including gaining additional business in and outside of Newham, and increased support for the smaller charities it partners.
He was nominated by an Ape Media trustee for the Business Person of the Year category, which he didn’t win, but a surprise was on the way via the Judges’ Choice Award. “It was a massive shock,” he said. “I wasn’t really listening when it was announced, I was like it’s not me, and my table were like, they just said your name. I was overwhelmed, and so happy. It was a great night. It was amazing to have the charity recognised.”
Trevor’s focus now is to “stabilise” what the charity is already doing, but he hopes to increase its international projects, and continue important work with those with substance misuse or emerging mental health issues.
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But why should companies take a leap and enter the awards? “For anyone considering entering, it’s about showcasing what you do. It’s just to get that recognition, but also in some ways – not that you need it – it’s about that validation, that you’re doing the right thing. Without Archant and the awards we wouldn’t have had the success we have had this year.”