James shared thoughts about his early-stage entrepreneurial journey, experience with the YEA! programme and top tips for budding entrepreneurs.
Who are you and what is Skate Cabal in a nutshell?
Skate Cabal is a multi award-winning platform that amplifies safe spaces, stories & culture for the Roller-Skating community in the UK. First inspired when I stepped out of my own comfort zone and started to Roller-Skate in 2021 and witnessed how Roller-skating united people during lockdown and helped the community overcome social isolation and mental health issues. I then heard the community complaining of the lack of dedicated spaces for skating in their local area, compared to other mainstream sports, despite how big the roller-skating community is in the UK.
What problem do you solve for others?
I set-up Skate Cabal to help amplify safe spaces for skating. We host Roller Skating programmes, and have continued to work with local authorities and community organisations to run Skate Events, Workshops and Festivals and also designed an app to help people find Skate groups, events, tutorials and will soon add features to help them track their progress.
What inspired you to apply for YEA!?
When I first started Roller-skating, I did not anticipate or plan to start a business, with no prior experience running Roller Skating events I literally jumped into the unknown, the YEA! workshops has helped provide a support network, structure and accountability when setting up Skate Cabal with a step by step process on all the things I should consider when turning a community idea into having a viable business.
What challenges did you find at the beginning of your journey and how did you overcome them?
Initially it was difficult trying to find event spaces and service providers that can accommodate roller skating events. I faced countless rejection and curveballs from various vendors and venues. However, with perseverance, and through effective strategic partnerships that I built overtime, I’ve been able to work closely with the local council, local authority organisations and community organisations to host various sponsored roller skating programmes, events and summer skate festivals with no previous experience, as well as winning various awards and speaking at London Tech Week sharing about my journey building Skate Cabal.
What advice would you give to someone who is trying to become an entrepreneur?
If you want to be an entrepreneur, you should fear regret more than you fear failure. Trying new things can be undoubtedly daunting at first, the act of leaving our comfort zone puts us in a vulnerable position. We often let the fear of the unknown stop us from trying anything new. But pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones helps us to overcome those fears, it also allows us to expand our minds and find out our true potential. If I allowed fear to prevent me from starting Skate Cabal, I would have missed out on all sorts of opportunities that I now have been able to achieve. Be the change you want to see in the world and join the YEA programme!
Thank you, James!