UK (Anglia Ruskin University) ARU student wins national entrepreneur award

Joe McGrath is recognised for his company’s culture of widening participation

A postgraduate student at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) has been recognised as founding one of this year’s most exceptional businesses at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2022.

Joe McGrath is currently studying for a postgraduate diploma Degree Apprenticeship in Management and Leadership at ARU. In 2018, he founded financial content marketing agency, Rhotic Media.

The company won the John Caudwell Blaze Your Own Trail Award at the 2022 Grand Final of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards at London’s Grosvenor House hotel.

The John Caudwell Blaze Your Own Trail Award recognises organisations and individuals providing non-traditional routes into employment through apprenticeships, on-job training and work experience placements. The award was added as part of a new partnership between the programme and the Phones4U founder’s charity Caudwell Children.

Rhotic was founded by Joe after he was made redundant by his former employer. He used his final pay cheque to buy a desk in a serviced office and win his first clients. Today the business employs 20 people and turned over £1.5m in revenue in the financial year ending April 2022.

The company, which has offices in Chelmsford and London, has created jobs for young people from the age of 18, offering Degree Apprenticeships, internships and work experience to those who may otherwise struggle to get a foot in the door.

Joe called on employers in the financial services and media industries to do more to harness the potential that exists in young people from non-privileged backgrounds.

He said:

“Employers, like Rhotic, have the power to change the status quo by offering Degree Apprenticeships, paid internships, paid work experience and school or college outreach programmes.

“Being born into humble beginnings shouldn’t mean anyone should be prevented from achieving their full potential. It’s time to change the game.”

The Grant Final of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards was attended by 1,400 entrepreneurs and colleagues who joined together to celebrate a collective £2 billion generated in turnover and over 17,000 jobs.

Great British Entrepreneur Awards founder Francesca James said that the awards’ 10th anniversary was the biggest and best yet.

Francesca said:

“The extraordinary circumstances of the last few years have tested the resilience of our business communities, and the challenges were enough to give many entrepreneurs an excuse to give up. Instead, our award winners did the opposite and, through ingenuity, innovation and the ability to adapt, they thrived.

“These challenges certainly haven’t gone away, and the next few years will present new obstacles to overcome – but one only needed to look around the room at our 10th anniversary to see some of the truly special founders and doers, to gain confidence that this snapshot of the economy can go on and adapt again.

“We’d like to congratulate all of our 2022 winners for all of their hard work and achievements – we look forward to following your lead into 2023 and beyond!”

Anne Boden MBE, Founder of Starling Bank, the headline partner of the Awards, said:

“Entrepreneurs up and down the country across so many different industries have shown just how innovative and resilient they have been in these uncertain times. The awards are a celebration of their success – congratulations to all winners.”