Young Hull entrepreneur who overcame homelessness recognised at House of Commons

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 30 Dec 2017

A young entrepreneur from east Hull who overcame homelessness has been commended at a major awards at the House of Commons.

Aaron Conroy says he is now planning on acting on tips he has received from the very top after rubbing shoulders with politicians and international business people at the glitzy event.

Mr Conroy, who overcame the obstacles of joblessness and homelessness to launch his own business, was recognised by being named runner-up in the International Association of Bookkeepers (IAB) Student of the Year award.

Mr Conroy was nominated for the global award by Hull-based Golding Computer Services, where he completed the IAB Level 1 Certificate in Computerised Accounting for Business as part of the Making Changes for Careers (MC4C) initiative.

He is now progressing with Goldings to Level 2, having seized the opportunity to turn his life around.

Aaron Conroy receiving his certificate from Simon Wicks, CEO of awards sponsor Butler Rose

The entrepreneur says he had struggled through college courses and mundane jobs, even sleeping rough and sofa-surfing at times, but with the help of MC4C he launched Fenburg, selling watches, jewellery and other fashion accessories online.

Mr Conroy said: “I used to live in London but it was a long time ago and I never went near the House of Commons. I was nervous and excited when we walked in and especially when they gave me a badge which had my business name on.

“Being in the presence of MPs and international business people was very interesting and opened my eyes a bit.

“It boosted my confidence to have so many people congratulating me and it made me think a bit more about how I can develop my business. I’m thinking about introducing new products under my own brand and I’m also going to do more networking.”

Read more: Hull legal firm to open second office in Beverley and increase recruitment

MC4C is part of the Humber Learning Consortium’s Youth Employment Initiative under Hull City Council’s regeneration services.

The programme is supported by the European Social Fund and offers a lifeline for young people from underprivileged backgrounds who wanted to develop business ideas.

The awards ceremony was hosted by Fabian Hamilton MP and the presentations were made by Simon Wicks, CEO of the sponsors Butler Rose, nationwide specialists in the recruitment of accountancy and finance professionals.

Mr Wicks said: “As corporate associate partners to the IAB and sponsor of the Student of the Year Award, it’s really rewarding to see some of the new talent in the bookkeeping world emerging through the IAB.

“I had the pleasure of interviewing Aaron during the selection process for the awards. What really stood out about Aaron were not only his emerging bookkeeping skills, but also the fact that he had been determined to improve his education and his career prospects – despite facing some challenges and hardships earlier in his life – including setting up his own business.

“I was delighted to present this certificate to him, recognising his achievements, and I’m certain Aaron has a bright future ahead of him.”

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