Shezad Nawab MBE
BA (Hons) Business and Marketing 2009
Enterprise and Innovation
Inspirational entrepreneur Shezad Nawab is a successful businessman with six companies based around luxury global property, events, business consultancy and more. He was born profoundly deaf and uses British Sign Language to communicate, but has not let this be an obstacle to success.
He has won several awards including the Business Institute Award 2011, Young Entrepreneur Award 2011 and Innovation Winner 2010. He was named one of the 10 Most Influential Disabled People in Business in 2014, and was made an MBE in 2017 for services to business and diversity.
Shezad’s unrivalled experience in investment and a wide international network of contacts allows him to be a key player in business growth and he has been actively involved in helping many new businesses start-ups get off the ground. He plays an active part in the deaf community and is a role model to others who are deaf or hard of hearing.
“I always wanted to be an entrepreneur and was inspired by my father who told me to build great foundations and take small steps to achieve big things. He was worried about me as a deaf person going into business, so I initially worked in his retail and property development businesses.
“I decided to study with Birmingham City University to focus on developing my business skills and increase my confidence and knowledge. I had full access to a British Sign Language interpreter and they gave me extra support. I gained insight and communicated with hearing colleagues via email. It was challenging at times but enjoyable.
“The University can help you to be very successful – there is a huge amount of help available. The staff are incredibly professional and you learn from their experience and expertise.
“I enjoyed my time at the University very much. It was exciting and very useful for me. I particularly enjoyed learning how to create a business plan and a workshop on being entrepreneurial, which is where my interests have always been.
“I hope my businesses continue to grow in the future and I look forward to gaining more clients and taking on any new challenges that come my way, including as an international speaker and non-executive director. I feel now that I’ve got a lot of awards, which is very cool!”