“Never forget where you have come from, but know where you are going!”
Joel’s passion for Entrepreneurial Leadership, stems from his life purpose to help others to maximise their potential, regardless of any difference that they may have.
He started his career working in a recycling factory at the age of 16, peeling stickers of hangers. Often, he found himself mentoring co-workers on the conveyor belt line, helping them to identify their value. At age 18, he walked in a recruitment agency, and was given a role as Marketing Assistant for a FTSE 500 company with no prior experience.
At 21, fuelled by his desire to help others to grow, he was offered a role as an Employment Mentor for disaffected youth people and adults. Within 4 years, he became the leading Corporate Social Responsibility Mentor Trainer for the Midlands region, personally training over 300 corporate staff and community-based mentors each year.
During this time, he created his own handmade business cards and visited local schools, promoting his own personal mentoring for school children at risk of exclusion.
At 25, he launched one of the UK’s first diverse recruitment companies for the professional services sector, building an international client base from a rented one-room space. Under increasingly heavy competition, this business went under. Not to be dismayed, in 2007, he harnessed his experience to create Cultiv8 Solutions, a diversity and talent development consultancy firm.
In 2013, Joel diversified into the world of Finance, co-founding a financial services company that helped to launch over 650 new businesses through £2 million in funding.
Today, Joel is the Founder & MD of Cultiv8 Solutions (incorporating The Hot500 which celebrated it’s 10th birthday anniversary in 2017). He also raised angel investment to create Feelyx, an early stage FinTech B2B company, that provides AI Bench-marking & risk management software for banks and financial services firms.
As an intrapreneur, he leads on the Business Support strategy for the GBSLEP, where he is innovating the current support model for developing scale ups, access to finance and increasing inclusion across the region.
Click the logos to learn more about his business interests.
Joel was awarded an OBE for Services to Business Support and Enterprise in the Queens 90th Birthday Honours List 2016.
He enjoys reading, photography and listening to an eclectic range of music from Peter Tosh and Burning Spear, to Rachmanioff and The Roots.
- Chair, Diversity in Tech Group, Silicon Canal
- Board Director, Performances Birmingham (Birmingham Symphony Hall & Town Hall)
- Board Director / Governor, Birmingham Metropolitan College
- Board Director (Digital Board), West Midlands Combined Authority
Awards and Achievements
- Ambassador for Achievement (Institute for Leadership & Management) 2018
- Fellow of the Centre For Entrepreneurs
- Judge – Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2017
- Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 (Phoenix Awards)
- Expert of the Year 2017 (School for Social Entrepreneurs)
- Member of National Professional Speakers Association
- OBE for Services to Business Support & Enterprise (2016)
- Leadership Award (Future Leaders Club) 2016
- Maserati Top 100 UK Entrepreneurs 2015
- Ambassador Start Up Britain (2011-2015)
- Unsung Community Hero Award 2014
- Qualified Corporate Governance Practitioner (2012)
- Shared speaker stage with ex-USA President Bill Clinton (2012)
- Birmingham Young Professional Year 2010 (Recruitment and Training)
- O2 X Male Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist 2009
- ‘Man on a Mission’ Business Award 2009
- Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist (B.E.T. Award) 2007
- CETA Entrepreneur Award 2005