Newham Council is partnering with the Recorder until March 2022 to celebrate Year of the Young Person, marking the achievements of young people and highlighting the services and support aimed at them.

A young man from Stratford has revealed his entrepreneurial journey and gave advice to other budding young social entrepreneurs.

James Kaguima began his entrepreneurial journey as a 16-year-old volunteer at his local youth club.

A few years later, the youth worker helped the club to secure a substantial grant to fund a number of community events and programmes.

Now 24, James has founded and been involved in numerous social impact ventures and initiatives. He also holds a position on the board of various organisations committed to achieving positive change in society.

James said: “I think it helps that I have had amazing role models in my life.

"My main source of inspiration is my grandfather, after learning about his rags-to-riches life story where he funded his own education and has been running a successful construction company for many years.”

To add to his list of accomplishments, James has a law degree, part funded by The Lord Mayor of London Scholarship for Academic Excellence.

But it was not plain sailing.

James explained: “In my third year I had to take a break from studying to prioritise my mental health, which had deteriorated for various reasons.

“I managed to complete my degree but realised I did not want to become a lawyer. I discovered that my passion is solving complex social problems through social entrepreneurship.

“I have experienced many challenges along the way. To help me get through these situations I tell myself: ‘life will keep throwing you curveballs until you learn how to throw them back.’ I always try to turn challenges into opportunities.

“My advice to other budding young entrepreneurs is to treat life as an adventure and keep being curious – it will expand your knowledge and open up new possibilities.

"Creating new connections, building relationships and networking are also incredibly important.”

James is currently focussing on Skate Cabal, a Newham Year of the Young Person-funded project, which he founded to empower the borough’s roller skating community and link them to safe spaces to skate.

Newham Recorder: James with some Skate Cabal community membersJames with some Skate Cabal community members (Image: Newham Council)

The project also aims to improve social connectivity and mental wellbeing.

For more information about Skate Cabal, visit: