Friday, September 19, 2008

Paulette West MBE - Growing Aspiring People

My guest on Tuesday's show was Paulette West MBE.

Paulette spoke about how she started out as a typist at Barclays at the age of 16. She moved into a management position. She then used Barclays’s considerable resources to benefit the Black community, by holding events where she profiled role models and offered Black businesses the opportunity for start-ups and mentoring.

She is still holding role model events now, and young Black people have been inspired to start businesses as a direct result of this work. She has now left Barclays and runs her own project, the g.a.p. network – Growing Aspiring People.

Sometimes, people assume that successful people had it easy. I think people give up when they reach difficulties. When we see a Black role model standing up there talking about the difficulties he or she encountered, then we realise it’s not going to be easy. This inspires some people to take risks which they might not otherwise have taken.

Paulette takes these role models into the community. She hires community venues so Black people could feel comfortable attending these events. She is doing this work internationally, in African countries.

We can learn strategies from those who have been successful, which we can then apply in our own situations. When I interviewed people for Black Success Stories, I asked them what mistakes they had made, and how they had overcome them.

Click here to listen to my interview with Paulette.

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