Jamal Edwards - one of our original VMPs - awarded MBE in New Years Honors list

2nd January 2015

I was thrilled to hear the good news on New Years Day, that Jamal Edwards - one of our originalVirgin Media Pioneers (VMPs) - had been awarded with an MBE in the New Year Honors list for services to music, through his business, SB.TV.

Jamal was a teenager when he decided to launch youth broadcasting and production film SB.TV to upload clips he recorded of his friends performing on the estate where he lived in London. Less than 10 years later, he's worth an incredible £8m, due to the success of SB.TV.

Jamal says it is just a question of believing in yourself, and finding your talent, which for him is making videos. "Try anything, don't be scared of failure, that is my advice," he says. "The only failure is not trying. And when you find your niche, what you are really good at, hit it so hard."

Believing in his ability to make great videos, Jamal left school and got a job in clothing company Topman, while he continued to make videos avidly in his spare time.

Building up a reputation for the quality of his work, he would film up-and-coming rappers and singers, while also targeting more established stars.

As word of mouth spread, his videos on YouTube, put up under the name SBTV (the SB stands for SmokeyBarz, Jamal's own rapping nickname) started to get hundreds of thousands of hits.

Jamal then contacted YouTube to see if he was eligible for a share of advertising revenues. Despite being turned down three times, Jamal persisted and YouTube agreed to share the advertising revenue.

In addition to not being afraid of failure, Jamal's advice for other entrepreneurs is to remember to take a step back and give yourself time to breath, because he's "crashed and burned about three times over the years because I was just working, working, working. Now I'm more planned, more organised”

In addition to his MBE, Jamal has received numerous other awards. One of these was Best New Start Up from Virgin Media and Virgin StartUp, after the business so impressed Sir Richard Branson.

Big congratulations, Jamal!