From a shop worker earning $3.6 an hour to starting a PR firm that is bringing in six figures

Abu Mubarik August 17, 2021
Brenda Gabriel started her own business despite flunking her A-Levels (Image: Brenda Gabriel)

Brenda Gabriel is the owner of a six-figure PR agency and business growth consultancy firm in the United Kingdom. Starting a business was something Gabriel never imagined she would be when she left school with just one A-Level at grade E.

Gabriel grew up in Huddersfield where many people struggled to get a job let alone own a business. She told the Mirror that she did not know anyone who owned a business. “I always imagined I’d work in an organization that belonged to someone else,” she said.

In 1998, Gabriel passed her GCSEs but failed horribly in her A-Levels due to depression and breaking up with the father of her child in 2000. While studying, she took up several jobs, including working as a shop assistant where she was paid $3.6 an hour.

In college, she studied business, French, and IT because she wanted to be a bilingual international businesswoman. Gabriel’s first job after college was working for a security company in 2001 before switching to a similar company after working there for seven months.

Two years later, she started working as a civil servant in the Crown Prosecution Service. For 11 years, she held the position until a near-death experience caused her to change her career path. She recalled a car running off her bike while on her way to a fitness Bootcamp class.

“I realized then I needed to find a way to leave my job seven months later, I took a voluntary redundancy without a clue about what I would do for work,” she told the Mirror. “I just knew I wanted to fulfill my purpose, which definitely didn’t include implementing new structures only for them to be changed again 18 months later.”

Before venturing into PR, Gabriel was dabbling in selling hair extensions and working in property and social media management. She also worked for a PR firm before going solo and starting her business. In 2015, she founded Brenda Gabriel PR where she works with entrepreneurs and influencers.

In 2018, she hit six figures after making $200,000. However, her profit dipped as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Multiple publications have established the fact that the pandemic disproportionately affected Black businesses. Despite the effect of the pandemic on her business, Gabriel is back on target and is aiming to make over $200,000 this year.

For young entrepreneurs who want to be like her, Gabriel said they should not overthink it, adding that they should start according to their strengths. She also wants aspiring entrepreneurs to hire a mentor or a coach that understands the sector they want to invest in.

“One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard was to plan how you will make your first $6000 in business,” she said. According to her, the advice helped her to remain focused.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 17, 2021


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