Plaistow basketball player Dominic Norton sets up his own IT consultancy business
PUBLISHED: 09:38 12 July 2018
A 24-year-old entrepreneur has spoken out about the opportunities available for children from poorer backgrounds in Newham.
Dominic Norton grew up in Plaistow, and thanks to a talent for basketball which saw him play for England, gained a scholarship at an American University.
While studying he set up a business, but he claims for many young people in Newham, it’s hard to realise such opportunities are possible.
“Coming from Newham, you’re provided with all the tools that you need to succeed,” he said.
“Even though our schools aren’t the best, the methods we’re learning, the life lessons, make us equipped.”
Dominic began playing basketball at New City Primary School. He represented the borough, before playing for London, then England.
“I worked my way up,” he said.
“There were a lot of people from similar backgrounds, especially at the Newham and London levels.
“When I played for England, I travelled abroad a lot. The best was the Czech Republic – a lot of us had been to France or Spain, but the Czech Republic isn’t a place we’d ever thought we’d go.”
Dominic continued playing basketball as he did his GCSEs at Langdon Academy in Barking. While at sixth form at Barking Abbey, he was scouted to go to Tuskegee University in Alabama.
He briefly studied architecture, before switching to a degree in construction science management. Meanwhile, he began developing the idea for his business.
“I had a lot of time to reflect on growing up in London and the opportunities there,” he said.
“London has a lot of entrepreneurship and business.
“There are developers out there and not enough businesses that know how to use them, or don’t have the staff to develop software themselves.”
Dominic had gained enough technical skill from his time in architecture to set up an IT consultancy business to help these companies.
In May he graduated, and has since moved back to East Ham to operate the business remotely.
“One of the things for people in Newham is we work so hard to get away, and we say we’re not going to come back,” he said.
“Growing up in Plaistow, I didn’t have too many people to look up to. When I see kids now, they don’t have that either.
“You have to come back, because you have to be that mentor and guide.”