23 year old CIC CEO launches local event for Cambridge, where innovation, employers and future talent converge

Locally based Community Interest Company, Inspire 2 Ignite is set to host an event that promises to be a convergence of the city’s most influential decision-makers and the brightest emerging talents later this month. Taking place at the stunning Bradfield Centre, “Curious About Cambridge,” is a platform where innovation, energy, and future talent converge on 21st November.

At the heart of this initiative is Sam Squire, who, at the age of 23, has just taken the reins as CEO of Inspire 2 Ignite CIC, after having worked closely within the organisation for the last 18 months. His journey from NEET former pro-footballer to inspirational leader is one he wants to share as “a beacon of hope and possibility.

"Leading this incredible organisation is an honour”, Sam said. “We're here to show that with the right support and community, every young person can achieve greatness and this event is our way of making more roads into this happening locally, working with incredible local employers alongside the amazing young people”.

Sam (centre) engaging young people at a recent Curious Corner

Alex Hughes, Founder of Inspire 2 Ignite CIC, expressed his confidence in passing the baton to Squire. “Sam embodies the spirit of our mission. His ascent to CEO is a powerful message to all young people that their potential is limitless,” Hughes remarked.

From Curious to Champion in 1 year

The event also celebrates the remarkable journey of Lewis Newark, who transformed from a ‘Curious Entrepreneur’ (a young person not in education, curious about his career path and determined to make his own way in the world) to an Ignite Champion (where he works to now support others on the programme) within just 12 months. “Inspire 2 Ignite CIC has been a catalyst in my life. Now, it’s my turn to inspire and invest in the next generation,” shared Newark. He will now be sharing his experience as a business owner with the young people in the next cohort, helping them to aspire to be the best version of themselves.

Pictured, Lewis with Founder Alex Hughes at the Start Up Awards where he was nominated as Newcomer.
Lewis speaking as a Curious Entrepreneur at our Peterborough Launch event

The NEET crisis

Over the past year, Inspire 2 Ignite CIC has made significant strides in addressing the NEET crisis, impacting over 3,000 young lives. With a goal to uplift 5,000 more by the end of 2024, the organisation is turning potential economic liabilities into activated national assets. “Our approach is about understanding, supporting, and empowering young people. We’re filling gaps and honing our programs to create real change,” Hughes added.

The story of Victor, a young individual who found his path through the “Curious About Ice Cream” project, which saw a group of young people pitch and then create a pop up business selling to the local community, exemplifies the impact of Inspire 2 Ignite CIC’s engagement. From being expelled from schools to speaking at two exclusive events, Victor’s transformation highlights the power of second chances.

Victor's story of resilience and determination

Making connections at the event

With “Curious About Cambridge” the Inspire 2 Ignite team are seeing this is an opportunity for Cambridge’s decision-makers to witness the power of potential by meeting some of the young people the team work with and they are inviting leaders to bring along the emerging talents from their organisations, so that everyone to be part of a community that is shaping the future. Ultimately the goal is to get some of the young people who are out of work, into work, through local businesses, so they can contribute to the local economy and be an asset to local enterprises.

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