The Midlands is renowned for its rich industrial heritage. Thanks to the efforts of young entrepreneurs across the region, it’s now a vital engine for economic growth in the UK.

With robust support for budding entrepreneurs, there are numerous opportunities for funding and special programmes to accelerate careers. Plus, local organisations promote growth through grants and initiatives, attracting established companies and startups to the region.

Even more foundations have been laid by entrepreneurs in the last ten years. We’ve listed four of the most influential and proactive business leaders below, paving the way for excellence.


Midlands entrepreneurs you need to know about

  1. Omran Al Habbal

Having only lived in Birmingham for three years, Omran is a founder, creative agency director, and coordinator of extensive volunteering work. Raised in Syria, Omran now focuses his efforts on helping students in Birmingham to network with businesses and entrepreneurs.

After studying at Aston Business School, Omran started his first company, Gladington. His second company, Bloomup, offers marketing services to graduates. Most recently, he has co-founded Birmingham Enterprise Community with Daniel Evans. This company aims to bring people together to drive innovation through diversity.


  1. Ben Amanna

Ben Amanna is the founder of sportswear brand Boxraw. With a vision that started in his family home, his company now turns over millions of pounds every year and employs and least 40 members of staff.

With massive celebrities like boxer Tommy Fury and actor Michael B Jordan among Boxraw’s fans, this brand sells a range of quality sportswear and casual clothing. It’s all themed around boxing, and Amanna has also launched a charity under the brand, Boxing is Love, which provides boxing gyms for children in Libya.


  1. Josh Ashby

Josh Ashby’s entrepreneurial endeavours are showcased in UK Flooring Direct, where he’s the current chief digital officer. Despite starting out as a warehouse operative in the firm, he later became chief commercial officer before taking on his current role. Through dedication, new founders can work their way through the ranks and follow in Josh’s footsteps.

He now oversees the company’s digital investment, which will climb to a staggering £2.5 million in 2024. The company recently opened a new showroom in Coventry and employs more than 200 people!


  1. Henrietta Brealey

Henrietta Brealey became CEO of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce back in April. This momentous achievement made her the youngest person and the second ever woman to hold this role, which holds 208 years of history.

While she was still studying in 2012, she joined the chamber as a policy assistant and later completed her master’s degree in public management too. Now just 30 years old, she oversees a wider business operation covering parts of Staffordshire and greater Birmingham. With entrepreneurial flair and a unique perspective driven by hard work, she tries to “make Greater Birmingham the best possible place to do business”.


These ambitious individuals reveal just a snippet of the entrepreneurial spirit that defines Brimingham, inside and outside the city centre. Whether you’re an apprentice, university student or recent graduate, it’s worth taking inspiration from driven young businesspeople across the Midlands.