James joins BBC to help unlock ‘Your Inner Boss’

Lisburn entrepreneur taking part in Open University challenge

By Claire Cartmill
Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 7:44 am

James Blake, founder and managing director of the award winning digital marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO) company Vindicta Digital will today take part in an interactive livestream to guide Gemma when she tackles a set of business challenges.

A successful investor who owns and operates multiple six-figure enterprises, James (28) will join a first class list of academics, alumni and expert guests to guide Gemma as she enlists the help of her live online audience to crowdsource decisions.

New research commissioned by The Open University has discovered that almost half of young people (45%) feel trapped in a job they really can’t stand.

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BBC TV and Radio 1 presenter Gemma Cairney

While 82% of young people said they dream of being their own boss and three-quarters describe themselves as having an entrepreneurial spirit and reckon they have what it takes to be successful.

The study of 1,500 20 to 35-year-olds also suggests it’s difficult to find something new, with 28% feeling they fell into a career path they can’t get out of.

James who attended Fort Hill Integrated College, Lisburn and then studied with the Open University in the early days of building his business, which is now one of the growing sectors in Northern Ireland, explained why he was keen to get involved in the challenge.

He explained: “I’m a massive believer in taking action towards goals and business projects so The Open University is the perfect solution.

“You can continue to grow your business while also learning.

“I think it is a fantastic alternative to full time education.”  

John D’Arcy director at The Open University, continued: “It’s amazing to see the positive entrepreneurial attitude that young people have.

“Lots of young people know they have the potential to do bigger and better things but are unsure how to access their dream job.

“We hope the Open University can be the solution to the barriers that some of the younger generations are facing.

“Flexible study with the Open University gives young people the ability to earn while they learn and offer a chance to upskill to land their dream job whilst pursuing a side hustle at the same time.”

Presenter Gemma said: “I’m thrilled to be taking part in the Open University’s ‘Unlock Your Inner Boss’ LIVE challenge.

“It’s brilliant to see that young people today have such positive mindsets about feeling entrepreneurial - they clearly want to take control of their careers and so many are planning their own side hustles.

“Hopefully watching me in the ‘Unlock Your Inner Boss’ challenge will show that everyone is capable of achieving their dream job, given the right mindset and support.

“I’ve always considered myself to have an entrepreneurial mindset and I can’t wait to see what challenges the day has to offer.”