Former The Apprentice star Samuel Brooksworth is capitalizing on the remote working revolution by getting young skilled people to work from Africa for organizations around the world.
The market for remote workplace services is set to grow from $20.1 billion in 2022 to $58.5 billion by 2027, according to a report by MarketsandMarkets, a sector research and growth advisory firm in the United States (US), and Samuel Brooksworth, the CEO and founder of Remoteli is here to seize it.
The savvy London-born Ghanaian businessman is also famous for being on The Apprentice reality TV series on BBC One in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2016.
He got to sell his ideas and display his sales skills, which he has been honing from a young age, on the show. He started young.
At university, with his twin brother Andrew, he revitalized the African & Caribbean Society, growing it from just 15 members to over 600 people. They then went on to launch a t-shirt business, JC Range, featuring Christian-themed messages and sold at youth events and major gatherings across the UK.
Their t-shirts did well and they quickly realized they had a knack for sales. After graduation, Brooksworth joined Enterprise-Rent-A-Car, a UK car rental service where once again his skills were put to test.
“At Enterprise, there was a culture called Elite Club where the top sellers in the organization are [rewarded] for their hard work. In my first eight months at the organization, I made [it to the] top five consistently out of about 500 people in the region. To put this in context, most people only make the Elite Club once or twice every one or two years and some sales people have never made it to the club. So when I [accomplished] that, it put my name at the top of the organization and I got the attention of area managers and different regional individuals,” recalls Brooksworth.
It was not long after that his wife, an avid fan of The Apprentice, insisted he too apply for the show. He did, and a week later, he received the call. For Brooksworth, getting on the show was not to win. It was to leverage the platform to gain visibility for his latest business idea.
“I felt I got the exposure and after the show I was able to connect with people I didn’t have access to beforehand. When I went on the show, the business idea [I presented] was similar to what I am doing now. On the show, they rejected the business idea but years later it has actually become one of the most successful businesses of any candidate. It’s a beautiful moment that what they didn’t see has grown to be as big as it is now,” says Brooksworth.
It came with a lot of hard work.
In a 2019 article in The Guardian, he writes: “I was taught by my parents that I needed to work 10 times harder than my white friends in order to be seen as equal. As a child, this made no sense. I thought education was very black and white. If my answers were right, they were right; if they were wrong, they were wrong. Why then would I need to work harder just to receive the same grades?”
His big business opportunity came during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I was speaking to various senior executives, business leaders and C-Suite individuals [about] the challenges during the pandemic and a lot of them were struggling. They were paying huge bills [for] offices that were empty,” says Brooksworth.
However, it was a trip to Ghana with his wife that solidified the idea for his business, Remoteli.
“There were so many young people who were unemployed but were sharp and on the ball. But when I spoke to the adults, they would say the young people are lazy and don’t want to learn. I thought that was not true, rather there were not enough opportunities and if you give them the skills, I believed that they would thrive.”
Brooksworth decided to get these skilled young people to work remotely in Ghana for organizations around the world.
His company, Remoteli, is a tech-led on-demand staffing organization providing remote workers for companies and individuals worldwide offering a range of services – from virtual assistants to web developers and social media managers. The company has not raised any money yet and has grown rapidly by bootstrapping and word-of-mouth referrals.
“We are helping combat the rising graduate unemployment rates in Africa by providing opportunities for unemployed youth,” says Brooksworth.
The organization has grown rapidly from two employees to over 100 staff and they are currently in the business hubs of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Nigeria.
The pandemic has changed the way organizations work forever and for Brooksworth, the time to capitalize on this is now and in doing so, he is making a tidy profit and helping fellow Ghanaians get high-paying jobs with global companies whilst working from the comfort of their homes in Africa.