Samuel Kasumu Social entrepreneur and political commentator

Young political commentator and Social entrepreneur Samuel Kasumu is a former elected student President and Vice President, board member and director. He is currently a trustee of the social enterprise which he founded that tackles youth and graduate unemployment. In more recent times he focuses his energy on working within faith groups, and local level political engagement. In addition to this he has recently been selected as one of the top 25 young entrepreneurs in the UK by the New Entrepreneurs Foundation. He is also the youngest board member of the Peace Alliance- a leading organisation based in Tottenham that has recently taken over the £2.4 million refurbished Tottenham Town Hall. The Peace Alliance played a leading role in representing the community of Tottenham during the recent riots, and the unfortunate death of a member of their community. He has also recently been on the management team of one of the fastest growing employment organisations in the UK (going from a turnover of £180,000 to £1.2 million in one year).In 2011 Samuel was featured by influential political campaign Operation Black Vote (OBV) as a leading entrepreneur and future political figure. Recently he was recognised as one of the top 3 role models in the UK by Amway International. This year Samuel has also won the Barclays Business Enterprise Award at the Spirit of London Awards (SOLA). In November Samuel was also awarded the Young Star of Enterprise Award at the prestigious UK Growing Business Awards after a nationwide public vote, and was a nominee for the Business Award at the annual Black Youth Achievement Awards.

Samuel is known mainly for being the founder of Elevation Networks (EN). It is a student-led social enterprise based in Euston, created to help make young people from underrepresented groups more competitive within the labour market. He set this up during his undergraduate study with some of his peers. The organisation now has over 8000 members across the UK. To date the EN team have worked with organisations including IBM, Barclays Capital, Deloitte, the Youth Justice Board for England & Wales, the BBC, and have secured partnerships with the Olympics and Channel 4. EN also has a women’s campaign, with the objective of tackling underrepresentation of female leaders within the financial, banking, legal, and STEM industries. Elevation Networks has recently secured government subcontracts under the Department for Work & Pensions to deliver provision in London and the South East under the Work Programme. They will be part of the scheme helping to take 100,000s of young people and graduates out of unemployment. EN has also won various awards, including best diversity event for their work with IBM. This work has led to Samuel being well respected and well known in the business community as a leading young business man with huge influence across sectors. EN recently received the Best Partnership award for their work with Deloitte, and Samuel was subsequently invited to talk at the Business in the Community (BITC) event in Park Lane (London) where he was the youngest person to be on a special panel. Other panel members included the CEO of outsourcing firm MITIE Plc. EN has also recently agreed a deal with Goldman Sachs experienced hire division, and turnover is set to grow significantly during this financial year.

Samuel is one of the first Rising Stars for the International Key Club; an international network for leaders across the world. He recently finished studying his postgraduate degree in Ethnicity, Migration, & Policy; having obtained an undergraduate degree in Business and Management Accounting. He has sat on the steering group for the London Week of Peace and the Olympic Committee Engagement Forum; specifically for the BME community. He also sits on the No Barriers board at the British Fashion Council, helping to get more diverse groups into the industry. Whilst at university, Samuel became interested in journalism, resulting in him writing articles that were read in universities across the UK and was eventually featured by the “The Voice” publication. He also became heavily involved in student politics; becoming the first and youngest candidate to receive 1000 votes in Brunel University’s Student Union for a contested seat. The only student on the university governing body (university council), Samuel also sat on the finance committee, where he scrutinized budgets and priorities for the year ahead. During his time as the Vice President, Samuel was also nominated to be involved in the governance review of the union. In 2006 Samuel was the President of the largest African & Caribbean Society on a university campus where he is still known for the change he brought. In 2008 he was the youngest person to feature on the UK Power List of top 100 most influential African/ Caribbean’s. In 2009 and 2010 he was recognized as a top Future Leader. Recently, Samuel oversaw the largest ever debate tour targeted at an ethnic community on university campuses across England (including Oxford & Cambridge) and featuring leading contributors including political figures. To 2011 tour engaged 40 universities, had 23 official tour dates, and took place over 6 weeks. He has also featured in local and national press, including radio interviews and print media.

Having also been a consultant trainer for the National Youth Agency (specialising in participation), Samuel attends Jesus House church in Barnet (owners of the Novo Community Centre in Graham Park Estate), where he has been a youth leader, and now works on strategy including Big Society engagement within the community outreach department. In recent times, he has gained political campaign experience. During the 2010 general election Samuel campaigned for Theresa Villiars MP, David Borrowes MP, and parliamentary candidate Philipa Stroud. He has also campaigned for a number of Councillors within his local area- where he has good political relationships. Samuel is registered as having dyslexia and dyspraxia, and is from a large family who had economic challenges growing up. He has worked extremely hard to get to his current position, and continues to focus on making a difference through enterprise and political influence. His mentors also include the head of HR for UK & Africa at Private Equity firm Actis, the head of HR for the whole of the Barclays UK retail banking division, and various high profile Members of Parliament. He has also been a part of the Conservative Christian Fellowships Under 35s development course. He has advised many organisations in regards to developing their services, including leading African enterprise Mefiri Ghana, and continues to grow his business development experience.