My name is Peter Campbell and I am the Managing Director of the Caribbean East Atlantic Company Limited. I went from being on jobseekers allowance in 2011 to being the director of a small but growing multinational company in 2013. This is my story. I tell it to inspire you the people of Britain and the Caribbean.

In the midst of the cold snap of December 2009 I arrived in Britain. I had eighty pounds in my pocket and no plan as to where I would go or what I would do with my life. I had a vague dream of writing a book and becoming famous. But this was only a dream. The only thing I knew for certain was that Britain was where I ought to have been.

My second cousin accommodated me for the first nine months. However all was not right with me. I felt like a ticking time bomb. At any moment I would explode into tears as this was not how my life was supposed to be; living off the kindness of others, with no formally completed education or job prospects. This was not how I was supposed to live. So like an animal that was mortally wounded I sought out a private place to die. I moved away from west London to East London.

East London is the home of the East London NHS Foundation Trust which specializes in mental health issues. I didn’t know this at the time or that mental health issues and a general crisis of what one should do with one’s life was a common problem in first world countries. I had no idea at the time that enlightenment came with its own set of problems. One of these problems was seeing so much harsh reality that you knew not where to turn. In my newly enlightened state I lost the simple certainties which are common in the world where I originated. But I found my own. Those whom the gods would elevate in Britain, it seems, first they make mad. Then their countrymen reverence them for their strange ways.

The East London NHS Trust ultimately gave me three different jobs revolving around relating to people with various mental health conditions and helping staff understand what those people were going through. I had become a sort of ambassador. I was still claiming social security benefits and the combination of both earnings and free transport gave me unimagined power. I had become a champion of the likes of the Greek hero Theseus, equipped by the gods.

I played with many ideas surrounding money making. They all revolved around helping people while alleviating my boredom and loneliness. I was a man who needed to be heard in order to survive.

I found my calling with the idea of forming a Caribbean east of the Atlantic Ocean. So I called the business Caribbean East Atlantic Company also in reference to the British East India Company. I would help people who relocated to Britain to integrate into British life and rise on the social ladder. I knew that there was demand for jobs and there was demand for London. I also knew that London would always be demanding skilled people. So I would supply skilled people to London and London to skilled people. I would also help these skilled persons to find a purpose and avoid the hardships that I experienced. Prevention is better than cure. This was how I would change the world.

            After almost four years of being in Great Britain I shed many preconceptions that I had at first about it. I had thought that in all things large and small every British person was great. What I found was that their young were unemployed and desperate for work just as our young people are staring down at a dim future. I learnt that it was one world and in a sense we were all in it together. There was no way of escaping the fact that in the world as it is now the young have a hard time getting started. I could grit my teeth and keep applying for thousands of jobs or I could realize, that probably, the world was looking to me to create the next job.

            I have decided that as a private limited liability company it is my responsibility to take on staff. So I have decided to recruit among the youth through the National Apprenticeship Service. I will take on two apprentices. I also have a foreman who is around my age (24) from a previous concern and other staff who were recruited through various media and contacts. With my personal backing we have what it takes to get through the first month, everyone will get paid for their work excluding myself. After the end of our second month, if I have gambled correctly on this new and young team, we will survive and grow. I believe in this venture and I believe in the youth of the world. If more leaders believed in the youth of not just their own countries but that of their partner nations then maybe the world will see a brighter future.

My name is Peter Campbell and I shall press on.