Carl Hopkins | Speaker
Yorkshire-based entrepreneur Carl Hopkins is a marketing ‘expert' and since selling his multi-million pound marketing agency in 2007 he has turned his hand to promoting entrepreneurship and become an ambassador for enterprise. Always opinionated and outspoken, he is a dynamic speaker.
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In his 25 years in marketing and business Carl has acquired a tough, no-nonsense reputation. Having spent his entire career with one company, he is the ‘council estate kid done good’. From joining direct marketing agency JDA as a junior designer in 1984, he rose through the ranks to become MD, eventually taking over the business in 2000 after a successful management buy-out.
Carl sold the business in June 2007 and since ‘retiring’ has turned his hand to serial entrepreneurship, becoming involved with a variety of businesses that range from training people to a return to the workplace to sell sporting supplements. He can also regularly be found taking to the podium, either delivering keynote speeches to leading corporations and institutions, or inspiring young people into enterprise and helping individuals and businesses with their marketing. In 2010, Carl was voted in the top 70 of the UK’s most influential marketers outside of London.
Carl is best known for his appearance on Channel 4’s popular philanthropy programme, ‘The Secret Millionaire’, which saw him living undercover in the former North East mining town of Easington.
Carl was given the task of finding and helping out groups and individuals involved in community projects. At the end of his time he ended up giving away £42,000 of his own money to worthwhile causes. He is still actively involved with the Easington projects and since he took part in the programme he has dedicated a large proportion of his time to encouraging pro-enterprise attitudes in young people, visiting colleges and universities as well as enterprise centres up and down the country.
He has appeared on ‘This Morning,’ and ‘The Big Question’. As a resident agony uncle for marketing publication The Drum, he regularly dispenses straight-talking advice to those in need of salvation from the struggles, challenges and concerns of agency life.
Carl spends much of his time discussing Enterprise in Education through his roles as a Trustee of the Leeds United Foundation which supports young people in deprived areas of Leeds. He is also a founding patron of Rotherham Ready whose award winning programme ‘Are You Ready’ aims to embed Enterprise into the primary school curriculum. Carl and the Are You Ready team were recently invited to Buckingham Palace to discuss the initiative with HRH Prince Andrew who offered the support of his office and has become an advocate of the programme.
Carl has been an Enterprise UK ambassador for three years and his desire to promote enterprise has culminated in the launch of his latest venture, Joblink solutions; a Community Interest Company who support organisations which train people for work through education and inspiration.
He is a non exec director of Forward Ladies which supports women in business, an agony uncle to the marketing industry as well as a judge for both creative and enterprising competitions across the north of England and a patron for Welcome to Yorkshire.