…young people and adults who find themselves caught up in a range of illegal activities, from selling drugs to theft and robbery, could believe that they could achieve greatness. Imagine someone showing them the
knowledge and confidence to apply what they have learnt from the streets to a legal hustle instead.
It’s not where you’ve come from, it’s where you’re going that’s important. Street2Boardroom was founded in 2016 by Clayton Planter, who has a successful track record of working with young people and adults from the streets, urban neighbourhoods, ghettos, projects, and disadvantaged backgrounds.
Clayton decided to start Street2Boardroom when he noticed that the current system did not allow these people to increase their full potential and find positive, relatable role models.
Street2Boardroom gives young people and adults the skills, knowledge, and confidence to apply what they have learnt from the street to a legal hustle instead.
We believe that everyone has greatness within them. They just need the opportunity—the chance. Governments and councils have good intentions but repeat the same processes expecting different results.
We may seem the crazy ones, but in a crazy world, we are the sane genius who dared to disrupt the status quo. We believe that great societies work when people are true to who they are and are free to express this—because if we were all the same, we would never evolve. Everyone, regardless of background, has greatness within; it’s time to start unlocking that.
And so we don’t accept today’s problems; we build tomorrow’s solutions today.
Street2Boardroom offers a 4-week motivational programme to teach participants the basic skills needed to set up their own business. The course covers a variety of business subjects, including financial support, marketing, street business versus corporate business, business jargon, and more. Participants will also benefit from inspirational talks led by successful people whom they can relate to. The programme, which takes place in a corporate environment between 9 am and 5 pm, adds to the uniqueness.
“The reason I started Street2Boardroom was that some of my friends in the community were always getting on the wrong side of the law,” Clayton says.
“However, I’ve seen genius in these people. My experience of working in the council and working in the corporate world showed me that my friends were taking more risks on the streets than I was in the corporate world and that it was the same skills, and often the same motivations—profit, making money—that drove us. It was just different vocabulary and methods!”
Even though Clayton wasn’t involved in crime, he felt that he faced a lot of the same challenges as his friends: being a young black man, living in a disadvantaged area, with few opportunities and low expectations from the world around him.
“People saw where I came from but they couldn’t see where I could go,” he says.
Clayton calls for community leaders and company directors to sit up and see the talent that is out there beyond the traditional boardroom walls. His message is already getting results.
“We’re working against the odds and we’ve achieved something great in creating our own lane,” Clayton says. “We lived the change that we wanted to see, rather than talking about it. It’s not a course; it’s a lifestyle. It’s changing how people see themselves and how they see each other and it’s creating opportunities that go beyond what people thought was possible.”
In a personal letter to Clayton, Prime Minister Theresa May wrote, “By setting up Street2Boardroom you have created a successful and pioneering model that is helping disadvantaged young people to transform their lives and get on in the workplace. Through your innovative skills programme, you are helping young people fulfill their potential and start their own businesses. I wish you every success as you continue this important work.”