Search

Award for young entrepreneur helping Hackney kids find their voice

11:00 27 April 2014

Make Believe

Make Believe's founder and managing director, Joel Kern, scooped the London Young Entrepreneur of the Year award

Archant

A enterprising 25-year-old has been rewarded for his work with a Hackney theatre group, scooping the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the London region.

Hailing from Dalston, Joel Kern set up Make Believe, which teaches young people to sing, dance and act, at the age of 15, to try and help kids from disadvantaged boroughs to realise their dreams on the West End stage.

After a successful run at the Hackney Free School, and now based at Urswick School, Mr Kern expanded his business and now stands in the running to win the national award for his work.

Emma Murphy, owner of the Make Believe Essex franchise, and co-nominator of Mr Kern for the award said: “Joel’s enthusiasm is both amazing and contagious. He deserves recognition for the people and charities he has helped over the past 10 years.”

Profits from the thriving business go to a yearly nominated charity, with this years proceeds going to Kith & Kids, a North London based charity, who help children and their families suffering with autism and aspergers syndrome.

Make Believe’s operations director, Alison Freed, said: “Working closely with Joel makes me realise how special this young man is. He works tirelessly and his talent for business has enabled children from all backgrounds to excel in performing arts and for other creative entrepreneurs to set up their own small businesses through our franchise.

Mr Kern, who will find out if he wins the national award on May 21 at a lavish ceremony at the Waldorf Hilton, said: “I didn’t even realise I’d been entered, as two colleagues nominated me, it’s a really great honour.”

Kids as young as five can join in at the Hackney school, taught by West End veterans like Rebecca Westbury (Phantom, X Factor) and Aaron Nice (Guys and Dolls, Hamlet).

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 19:57
Billie Kane was last seen leaving her home address in Hackney at 11pm on Monday night (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

Police are appealing for information on the whereabouts of a missing 16-year-old girl from Hackney with distinctive blue hair.

Yesterday, 17:00
Twitter icons

Join the London Social Media café for their October networking event tomorrow.

Yesterday, 15:26
Carved pumpkins in preparation for Halloween

Businesses in Stoke Newington are getting into the spooky spirit tomorrow by welcoming trick or treaters on a Halloween trail.

Yesterday, 15:00
Vishal Vora who lives on a street with a gated entrance which people keep parking in front of, even though there is a double yellow line. The mayor has said he must put in a request every single time this happens instead of the council just increasing the enforcement of parking regulations on the street (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

An exasperated parking campaigner has invoiced the Mayor of Hackney after spending hours complaining to the council about vehicles blocking access to his street.

Most read news

Biffo and Bobo better stay away from the town of Vendargues this Halloween.

As a state of emergency is declared in Burkina Faso, what does the future hold for its president and people?

It might not be moving very fast but it’s still causing problems.

After staging an Ebola-themed night, a nightclub has been forced to make an apology after hundreds complained about the tasteless event.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hackney Gazette e-edition today E-edition