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East Midlands

In Conversation with Mark Esho, Winner of Director of the Year Inclusivity 2019

12 Sep 2019


Mark Esho graduated from De Montford University in 1994 after obtaining an MBA in Business Administration. Though a Masters degree is a notable achievement for most people, for Mark this marked the culmination of years of hard work battling against the many obstacles that got in his way.

When Mark was five years old, he went from a happy, carefree child to becoming paralysed overnight. He had contracted the polio virus, which by that point should have been eradicated from the UK. He was initially given a 10% chance of survival but not only did he survive - he thrived.

Mark has overcome insurmountable obstacles to become the man he is today. His positive, can-do mindset has meant that not only did he finish his studies and graduate, but he went on to become the Founder of several successful businesses - Easy Internet Services, Easy Internet Solutions and Dreme, a property investment company. He works on a voluntary basis for the DWP (Department of Works & Pensions) giving talks to employers on the benefits of employing disabled people and has recently set up the East Midlands Black Business Network.

In 2018 Mark’s autobiography, I Can. I Will. became a number one bestseller on Amazon. He was highly commended in the IoD Director of the Year (SME) 2016 and won this year’s IoD Director of the Year Award for Inclusivity. 

Mark will teach you that it doesn’t matter what obstacles life throws at you - it’s how you respond that counts!

Q: Who inspires you the most in business?

Richard Branson inspires me the most in business. He’s the only entrepreneur to build eight billion pound businesses in eight different countries. He’s a true example of a someone who has shown immense tenacity and determination and he has constantly exceeded peoples’ expectations. I also respect him for his commitment to giving back to the community through his charitable foundations.

Q: What advice would you give to your younger self?

People will always doubt you because of your disability and race - ignore them. Always believe in yourself and your own intuition - it will serve you well throughout the years.

Q: How did it feel to win an IoD Director of the Year Award?

It felt amazing to be recognised for the many years of hard work, grit and determination I have put into my businesses and community. The work I do for the DWP feels thankless at times, not that I want thanking but the award goes a long way towards recognising the time sacrifice and effort.

Q: What are your three key values in life?

Honesty, kindness and helping others.


You can read about all winners of the 2019 IoD East Midlands Director of the Year Awards in our Summer Magazine below.

Read here.

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