Our very own Hattie D’Souza has been listed among a MasterChef finalist, a star of TV show The Apprentice, and a social entrepreneur with a British Empire Medal for Services to Education and Young People, to make the list of the “ones to watch” in the city. 

Launched by Birmingham Live, ’30 under 30’ aims to celebrate the achievements of young people living and working in and around Birmingham. Together with partners One Million Mentors, an initiative by West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, the campaign shines a light on inspiring entrepreneurs, professionals, social activists and artists aged 16-30 who are helping to put the UK’s most diverse city on the map.

Hattie, aged 24, joined EAST VILLAGE. back in 2015 after graduating from Bristol University, and she is now the agency’s Account Manager and Head of Social Media. She looks after national brand names including Malmaison Birmingham, Malmaison Reading, and EF MEDISPA Edgbaston, through to independent retailers like Wayland’s Yard and social enterprise café, Evolve.

Voted for as a stand out young person in the city, Hattie was chosen as one of Brum’s best by a panel of judges that included: West Midlands Combined Authority Chief Executive, Deborah Cadman; The Prince’s Trust’s Director of Central England, Michele Farmer; Co-Founder and Director of One Million Mentors, Alveena Malik; Trinity Mirror Midlands’ Editor-in-Chief, Marc Reeves; Lead Organiser for Citizens UK in the West Midlands, Saidul Haque; and Pride of Britain award winner, Moin Younis.

In addition to her impressive career to date, Hattie’s inclusion in the ’30 under 30’ list is also due to her achievements outside of work. Alongside EAST VILLAGE. Managing Director, Tara Tomes, Hattie is a Founding Director of homeless organisation, Let’s Feed Brum.  In less than two years, Let’s Feed Brum has grown from a small group of people serving hot drinks and sandwiches to the city’s homeless, into a movement that brings together the city’s cafes and restaurants to reduce food waste, provide essential supplies for people experiencing homelessness, and a volunteer base of over 500 people who help mentor those on the streets and signpost them to existing services in the city.

Speaking about setting up Let’s Feed Brum, Hattie comments:

“I just couldn’t walk past people in Birmingham without trying to do something to help them,” she said.

“There were just six of us in that first meeting and then everything built from there. We launched Let’s Feed Brum in October 2016 and it was initially going to be just a Christmas campaign,  but then it grew into a regular event that sees around 20 volunteers go out six nights and two mornings a week. We’re genuinely helping people; not just providing food, but also supporting them with seeking help and getting into accommodation, and even jobs!”

Added to this, Hattie is Chair of the BPS Birmingham Aspire’s Advance Committee. Part of networking organisation BPS Birmingham, Aspire works with 16 to 24 year olds to focus on the development of students seeking careers in the professional services sector.

Talking about her ’30 under 30’ win, Hattie adds:

“I can’t quite believe it – I never thought I’d be included in this list of incredible people but it really is an honour. Birmingham is such a supportive city, where the people help one another up the ladder. You can get into a culture where everyone’s competitive – especially in PR – but that doesn’t seem to be the case here; the city wants each other to do well and that’s what it’s all about.”

Hattie’s personal achievement comes on the back of a successful run of award wins for EAST VILLAGE., having won ‘Outstanding Small Consultancy (Silver)’ at the CIPR Midlands Awards in 2017, as well as being crowned West Midlands Awards 2017 ‘Small Business of the Year’. The agency was also chosen as one of Small Business Saturday’s #SmallBiz100 companies last year, and was highly commended in the ‘SME – Emerging’ categroy at the Forward Ladies National Awards. Moving into 2018, the agency is up for ‘Small Business of the Year’ at the first English Women’s Awards, which take place in Leicester next month.

Tara Tomes