A young entrepreneur with “the world at his feet"
Meet Sabirul Islam, author of the bestselling book 'The World at Your Feet'. He self published at 17 and has sold over 42,500 copies. In this interview he speaks about what drives him to take risks and win.
Growing up in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, with the City and Canary Wharf just a 10 minute walk from where he lives, you would not be mistaken for thinking that he should be living in ‘luxury’. Even with the financial heart of London being so close, there is still a huge gap between the rich and the poor in Tower Hamlets. At such a young age Sabirul Islam has a confidence and self-belief that has been able to break the barriers of being an ‘everyday youth’ in a borough that sees crime and violence as a way forward.
At the age of 13, he was given the opportunity to work in a relative’s business and got fired after just two weeks. It was a moment of failure which he looks back on and sees as a unique turning point. This made him realise that he could not work for anyone else but himself. At the age of 14, he started his own website design business called Veyron Technology, which won the award for being the best Young Enterprise Inner East London company. With the idea of designing websites for corporate businesses, he became a 'thousandaire' in less than two weeks, having approached corporate clients such as Merrill Lynch, ABN Amro and Morgan Stanley!
He has continuously been approached by young people on how he achieved such success at a young age. Which inspired him to write his first book called 'The World at Your Feet' at the age of 17. ‘The World at Your Feet’ is a book which is an inspiration for all young individuals to follow their dreams and to turn their entrepreneurial vision into reality by helping them to exploit what Sabirul calla the ‘three strikes’: ‘the intensity, the integrity and the intelligence’ within them to possibly become the next Richard Branson!
With the book initially being self-published on New Year’s Day 2008, it sold just over 42,500 copies to schools and academies across the UK. This attracted mainstream publishers and now the book is published by Marshall Cavendish who will be taking the book worldwide this year. As a young entrepreneur, he was awarded the Growing Up CEO Award in Boston, USA on April 2008 by Professor Michael E. Porter at Harvard University, for being the most successful young entrepreneur from an ethnic background in the UK.
On 26 November 2008, Sabirul was awarded as the Mosaic Entrepreneur of the Year Award by both HRH Prince of Wales and HRH Princess Badiya Bint El Hassan of Jordan, which is an award that recognizes the successes as an entrepreneur within the Muslim community. This year, his highest profile speaking engagement was in Nigeria, where he spoke at an enterprise summit by the wife of Nigeria’s First President, Professor Uche Azikiwe where over 3,000 young budding entrepreneurs attended. He is also a columnist for Ambition Magazine, inspiring 25 to 35 on how to become a successful entrepreneur.
“Being aged 19 isn’t a barrier for me; it’s actually what drives me to take opportunities because I believe in making the most of the talent I hold as an individual in order to bring ‘The World at My own two Feet'.
Ethnic Now / Rhoda Wilson / Expatica