2024 Entrepreneurial Awards! Champion


23 May 2024

Author: Steve Pugh

Entrepreneurs Forum logo

Roadmap MBA Founder Steve Pugh was kindly nominated for the 2024 Entrepreneurial Awards! Champion for the Entrepreneur’s Forum – https://entrepreneursforum.net/ 


These are his answers:

Our judging criteria for our Champion award is:

  • Is a role model making a conscious effort to inspire and champion entrepreneurship across our region (and beyond) which could include being an influencer, speaking out for minority groups, inspiring young people or similar activities
    • Positively impacts other entrepreneurs in our region
    • Mentors others altruistically and is sought out to be a mentor for others


What inspires you to inspire and champion entrepreneurship across our region (and if relevant, beyond) (max 400 words)?

From growing in a working-class single-parent family, education changed my life. Through education we have the ability to transform lives.

Business education can improve the life-chances for everyone around you, but specifically those from under-privileged or under-represented backgrounds. With the cost of living this now includes a huge proportion of the UK population who are experiencing financial pressures. Many new entrepreneurs also go through times of financial struggle.

To tackle this need, Roadmap MBA (www.RoadmapMBA.com) was created with the mission to make business education accessible for 5 billion people, to many of whom traditional business education is out of reach. From its base in Gateshead, since launch in 2020, Roadmap MBA now has users in 141 countries.

Entrepreneur Steve Pugh, Nominated for Purpose Entrepreneur of the Year 2023 at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, invested £200,000 to create the online platform, books and a popular podcast series which drew an international audience. Steve champions entrepreneurship through demonstrating the knowledge and values to inspire others, plus FREE access to the materials.

Roadmap MBA partnered with organisations such as The Princes Trust to provide business support and guidance, creating entrepreneurial programmes designed for young people. Roadmap MBA also proudly supports Purple Sock Day, supporting entrepreneurship in the disabled community, including scoring 100/100 on web accessibility – making business education accessible to disabled users.

Roadmap MBA also supports causes which support ethical entrepreneurship such as Newcastle-based Kind Currency CIC providing one hundred FREE Roadmap MBA books, education and guidance to micro-businesses and entrepreneurs in the region, and since launch has provided over 1000 free packs to the entrepreneurial community across the UK.

Steve also supports entrepreneurs across Africa. “Steve is a role model who inspires and champions entrepreneurship around the world. Steve speaks out as an influencer, offering support to people from all backgrounds, inspiring hundreds of thousands of people in our community. Through his YouTube channel and online presence Steve is a mentor for people to follow their dreams, showing what is possible regardless of where you come from.” – Summy Francis, President, Africa’s Young Entrepreneur Organisation (130k followers).

Roadmap MBA exists to inspire others and provide support to help new or experienced entrepreneurs be successful. Through his work, Steve Pugh and Roadmap MBA are improving life chances around the world but specifically in the North East, providing a platform for communities to celebrate, learn and thrive together, all completely FREE.



How has your own entrepreneurial experience shaped how you champion others (max 400 words)?

In life what makes the difference for inspiring people to do incredible things are human relationships.

The people who go out of their way to help others. The people who stand by you when times are tough and the pick you up when you’re down. It is these people who change lives.

During the course of my entrepreneurial experience I have been helped and inspired by many, and many of these are Entrepreneurs Forum alumni: Bill Scott, Joanna Feeley, Dean Benson and more.

Educators also change lives. Educators and mentors share tools and provide preparation for life (or business) and provide light in uncertainty. In business confidence is your most valuable tool.

Throughout my career I have been blessed by teachers who guided me, mentors who inspired me and family who provided the moral compass and foundational values and belief that every person matters and that it is possible, even for one person, to change the world.

In my career I have been fortunate to have worked all over the world and never more are these values more present than in the North East of England.

In the North East we have a business community who stick together and support one another, inspire each other and champion the whole community from the grass-roots upwards. It is this which inspired me to ‘send the ladder back down’ and support people on their own business journey, enabling people to have “the roadmap to help them grow their business or career”. Common feedback is that Roadmap MBA provides the foundational base which is perfect for people early in their career, plugging a gap which was otherwise missing.

Most important was not forgetting the people to whom time and money are scarce, and creating a platform which goes back to my roots, particularly supporting those from under-privileged or under-represented backgrounds. It is hard for working mothers and people from all backgrounds to carve out time to study, so our programmes were designed specifically with this in mind.

Throughout my own journey it was always most impactful when mentors have been honest about their own challenges. Combined with their passion and humility, lifting others up is something that goes hand in hand with the North East and Entrepreneurs Forum community, creating and championing the leaders of the future. This is what inspired me and continues to inspire me to continue the work.