William Blair Alum Shares Passion on Fighting Injustice, Empowering Youth at I&D Talk

Thursday, September 2, 2021

James Bennett (left) and George Imafidon 
James Bennett (left), head of UK Institutional Sales & Trading for William Blair, and George Imafidon, a social entrepreneur and engineer with Sir Lewis Hamilton’s racing team, during a William Blair event in August.

Former William Blair intern George Imafidon, a 24-year-old social entrepreneur and engineer with Sir Lewis Hamilton’s racing team, shared his remarkable story of how he embraced injustices and turned them into a motivating factor to improve the lives of others during a virtual talk held August 19.

Born in the UK, Imafidon grew up in London’s southern district Peckham, a neighborhood surrounded by violence and poverty. At 14, his older brother was falsely imprisoned for murder. As that was happening, he asked himself: “What is it that I am going to do? This was injustice and I wanted to be part of the solution.”

While his brother was acquitted halfway through the trial because of no evidence, those experiences of inequality and injustice shaped him the most, he says. 

“That fire has kept on burning and that passion has taken me to where I am today.”

Imafidon, a first-class honors engineering graduate at the University College London, is the co-founder and CEO of Motivez—UK’s first mobile app that provides career advice and coaching for youth. He is an engineer with Sir Lewis Hamilton’s racing team (X44) and a board member at The Hamilton Commission to improve diversity in STEM and motorsport.

ONE Alliance Hosts

Imafidon’s talk was hosted by William Blair’s ONE Alliance business resource group, organized to support an inclusive and diverse workplace where all voices are heard. James Bennett, head of UK Institutional Sales & Trading for the firm, moderated the event.

Bennett, Imafidon’s mentor when he interned with William Blair in New York the summer of 2016, said Imafidon has a passion and fire for creating opportunities for young people.

A Passion for Helping Youth

One organization that has made a huge difference in Imafidon’s life was Amos Bursary—a group his older brother was also a member of—which helps talented young people of African and Caribbean heritage attend top universities and establish promising careers.

It was through Amos Bursary and its partnership with London’s Brokerage recruitment network that Imafidon first learned about internships and William Blair. Today he is leading the charge to raise 1 million pounds for Amos Bursary to expand its programing, reaching more youth from underserved communities.

Time and again Imafidon has seen young people, especially those coming from a background similar to his, who lack confidence and motivation to explore new opportunities. But there are so many problems today—climate change, racial tensions, environmental stresses, inequity—and he hopes that by getting kids interested in STEM careers at an early age they could be part of the solution.

A Chance to Dream

“They just haven’t dreamed,” he says. “They haven’t seen themselves in those positions. That’s why they often don’t have the energy or fire.”

Those concerns spurred Imafidon and his college cohorts to create the Motivez app connecting thousands of 14- to 25-year-olds to help them secure competitive jobs in STEM. Commended by Her Majesty the Queen, Motivez’s mission is empowering these students and young graduates to become the next generation of leaders to address the world’s biggest problems and serve their communities.

Imafidon’s work with Motivez landed him an invitation from Formula-1 racing champion Sir Lewis Hamilton to join his commission to diversify the sport, from the driver pool and the garage to the factories where the race cars are engineered and built.

He is also an engineer with Hamilton’s racing team X44, which debuted in Extreme E, an electric off-road racing series that launched in 2021. Extreme E aims to spotlight the impact of climate change on some of the world’s most remote locations. The third of its five races for the year was held August 28-29 in Greenland, the first time a motorsport event was held in the Artic territory. Hamilton’s X44 won in the semi-finals but lost in the Artic-X final.

Imafidon says bringing the environment and engineering together in a fun, entertaining way gives him great hope that we can address the world’s biggest problems.

“I’ve always seen myself as a humanitarian engineer,” Imafidon says. “I think this is what I was always looking for.”

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