Nicola Richards, Member of Parliament for West Bromwich East, invited school pupils from across the region to participate in a virtual event to mark National Careers Week 2021.
Nicola welcomed Ben Francis, founder of the globally renowned fitness apparel brand Gymshark, for a virtual live Q&A session.
Nicola and Ben covered a range of topics relating to careers and prospects for young people in the local area. The session truly highlighted that the West Midlands is a beacon of opportunity for young people and Ben was keen to emphasise this point.
Having started Gymshark right here in the West Midlands, Ben spoke eloquently about how his own experience as a young entrepreneur shaped his career and advised the young people to follow their passions to be successful in the business world.
During the session, Mr Francis told students “I don’t just think the West Midlands is a region of opportunity, it’s the region of opportunity.”
Ben gave students insight into his incredible journey of founding Gymshark - a company which is now valued at over £1 billion. Following the event, Mr Francis commented “It was great to chat with Nicola about the Gymshark story and the opportunities here in the West Midlands. It's an incredible region full of brilliant people.
Congratulations to Nicola and all she is doing, and I want to wish all the best to everyone headed back to school this week.”
Ms Richards added: “Young people have borne a disproportionate burden during this pandemic and we can't have a generation left behind. Young people need to know what options are out there for them - especially from young, inspiring, local business champions like Ben Francis.”
One local student expressed their positive feelings about the event, stating “I liked that I could relate to both speakers, as they are both young and have been brought up locally.”