Talented Yemeni singer makes news abroadTaha is part of entrepreneurial spirit in UK [Archives:2005/808/Culture]

January 17 2005

By New Services
Entrepreneurs can thrive in Burngreave and Pitsmoor. That's the message behind the district's first enterprise event, bringing all Sheffield's business support organisations together to encourage residents.

There are already more than 500 businesses in a part of the city that outsiders might consider to be a no-go area and commercial backwater.

Saghir Ahmed is business champion with the Burngreave Business Forum, organisers of the Business & Enterprise Event, supported by Business Link South Yorkshire.

He said ethnic, cultural and economic diversity made Burngreave an exciting and vibrant place to do business.

“It's an amazing place when you scratch the surface, and the level of economic activity is all the more remarkable when you consider it has been virtually ignored by advisers and financiers in the past.

“Now we have all the agencies coming together under one roof for the first time to offer support to budding entrepreneurs, business and anyone with questions on starting up or running their firm.''

Three Burngreave and Pitsmoor schools will send students to talk to support organisations and to entrepreneurs who made a success.

“While the event is about raising the standard, it is also about raising the profile for Burngreave. It is about lifting self-esteem to help regenerate an area that is all too often overlooked,'' he said.

The first Burngreave Business Awards are sponsored by Business in the Community, HSBC, Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Parker Communications.

One of the people short-listed is Adam Taha.

He arrived in Sheffield from the Yemen at 13, and didn't speak a word of English. He went to school, didn't understand anything anyone said, and left. With no qualifications he was virtually unemployable.

“I had two choices. I could have moaned and resigned myself to a life of Giros and inactivity or work for myself. As Yemeni people are hands-on and hard working, I set about learning the skills I need.''

Largely self-taught, he now runs his own graphic design company, producing computer artwork for posters, flyers, magazines and websites.

With funding from Creative Burngreave, he is producing a comic for the ethnic community, encouraging young people to study and be entrepreneurs.

He is a musician and singer, stage name One Dark Angel, and produced a DVD, Soul Train, vowing to give 40 per cent of profits to support Yemeni street kids.

He helps Burngreave youngsters with their English, song writing and music making.

“My goal is to develop a business which employs people from the community. People might not have the qualifications and skills some firms require, but if they are willing to learn and have a hunger to succeed, then that is enough.

“Burngreave is buzzing with entrepreneurial spirit. Now, at last, it looks as if the more traditional agencies are realising the potential and we are getting a lot of help.

“We want this event to spark more sponsorship so that young people here understand that they don't have to do it all on their own.''

This article was originally written in Sheffield Today.