RARE  RISINGSTARS 2014 The UK’s Top 10 Black Students
rare logo
No. 4



BA Spanish and Business Management
Queen Mary, University of London
Business and Social Enterprise
Ify Aniebo

Sinead grew up in Battersea, South‑west London, an area where 'opportunities were limited and there was nothing to do'.

After being rightly identified as a ‘Gifted and Talented’ pupil by her school, Sinead made the most of the opportunities put in front of her to learn Spanish and Russian, play the cello and take part in Young Enterprise challenges. It is the former that unlocked Sinead’s true potential.

As part of the programme, Sinead and a classmate formed a publishing company called Inspiranation, which focussed on tackling social issues like political apathy amongst their peers and a perceived lack of role models for black children growing up. One book, called ‘Why Vote?’, focussed on the former, and they interviewed almost 400 MPs on the importance of political participation, before selling 350 copies of the book through Amazon, WHSmith and independent bookstores – David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Gordon Brown each purchased a book as a token of support. Inspiranation was awarded ‘Best Company Report’, ‘Best Company Trade Stand’, ‘Best Financial Reporting’ and ‘Best Company in Kensington and Chelsea’ in the Young Enterprise competition.

"Change what you can’t accept and accept what you can’t change."

Sinead’s interest in social issues also extends beyond these shores. As a Global Fellowship Ambassador for the British Council, she was flown to Brazil where she conducted research on the impact of globalisation upon Brazilian culture, the problems posed by language barriers and the positive impact of global unity.

Also hugely commercially‑driven, she proved her talents by beating 500 opponents to win The Source, a competition styled on the BBC’s reality TV show ‘The Apprentice’. Sinead beat off stiff competition from the other 14 finalists, over the course of 18 months, to win the coveted first prize of £10,000 and one‑on‑one mentoring from successful entrepreneur ‘MKOGS’.

Not content with her personal success, she continued to focus on improving others’ lives during her time at university. Feeling that her BAME peers were under‑informed about the benefits of property ownership and how to go about it, Sinead decided to take matters into her own hands. Whilst in her final year of her degree, she managed to cram studying for a Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP) into the first semester, even though it usually takes up to a year to complete.

"The streets of success are paved with goals – goals not only give you a sense of purpose, but also act as a compass to signal when you are going off track. Allow your goals to help you navigate through life!"

She now runs an online workshop giving mortgage advice to university students at Queen Mary, where she studies, and at the time of writing she is working two days a week as a Mortgage Broker. She won’t be for long though – she has been snapped up by Google and will soon move to Dublin to work as an Associate Account Strategist, helping SMEs improve their online presence and strategy. In the long term, she plans to return to entrepreneurship in women’s fashion and has already begun designing her own range of lingerie. With her track record of success, investors will no doubt be queuing at the door to be involved.

<   >