Managing Director | Prism Safety Management
I have known David Brazer in a professional capacity since 2010 both in terms of his directorship of Citadel Associates Ltd and Ignition Autos.
In my professional opinion, He possesses excellent entrepreneurial skills and a remarkable aptitude for business, social enterprise, in particular. Having the vision to see what others don’t, the passion to motivate himself and others, the savvy, determination and discipline to build and grow a business, his decisive nature, his tenacity to stick with it, day in, day out, year after year and not giving up are all part of the entrepreneurial mix that defines David Brazer.
Most people need someone who forces them to keep working. Moreover, when people do not have someone to hold them accountable, they may let their work’s quality suffer. In a 1995 interview, Steve Jobs (Co- Founder of Apple Inc.), said that he was “convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance. It is so hard and you pour so much of your life into this thing, there are such rough moments in time that most people give up. And I don't blame them, it's really tough.” David persevered and never gave up in the face of adversity.
He is a highly effective networker who recognises the benefits of building strong value-based relationships. I am not sure whether these skills were honed through experience or whether they are the result of him just being a really nice, traditional guy. Traditional in the sense of having humility and a good dose of old fashioned manners which I think goes a long way, nowadays. His negotiation skills are second to none. Personable and authoritative, he welcomes and values advice and opinions but in the end makes decisions that he strongly believes are in the interest of realising his vision. We have had many discussions over the years and he has always kept the end in sight whilst exploring and filtering the many disappointments and avenues of opportunity, never letting pessimism, difficulty or problems stand in his way.
It has truly not been an easy ride for him but that did not deter him from striving to succeed despite withstanding the fear of uncertainty and potential failure. His vision for Ignition Auto Training Centre became a way of life for him which, coupled with hard work, intelligence, creativity and intuition, starting as a pilot in 2014 and finally proved successful in 2015 and continues to go from strength to strength.
If I was asked to sum David up in one word, it would be "inspirational".
South Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Trust
I first met David in 2013 through a mutual contact at Doncaster CVS, at the time I was working on a European Social Fund Project seeking to find Social Entrepreneur’s to set up Social Enterprises that would provide training and employment opportunities to people leaving the Criminal Justice System.
I was immediately impressed with David’s entrepreneurial spirit having identified a real opportunity in the market for vocational training in the Automotive Sector. David showed a real understanding of what ‘commissioners’ wanted i.e. value for money and real job and training outcomes as well as what the market wanted in terms well trained, well-motivated individuals with the skills and mindset to take up employment. We managed to secure David a small grant of £15k and David has through skill and sheer force of will managed to grow the business into what it is today.
I regularly keep in touch with David and I am amazed at how Ignition Autos have continued to go from strength to strength and continue to identify new areas where they can grow. Despite this considerable growth and diversification in terms of customer base David has managed to keep his mission and ethos clear and continues to provide individuals with the crucial supportive learning environment coupled with industry leading training as well as providing industry and commissioners with well trained and high employable candidates. I can only see Ignition Training and David going from strength to strength.
Director | IT advisory - Ernst & Young LLP
I worked with Ignition for 15 months as part of the EY foundation’s Accelerate scheme, over which time I have seen Ignition rapidly expand from a small garage facility, with a few trainees, to a large, shared facility which is rapidly expanding. This has only been possible because of his incredible passion to do something positive for people who are considered the hardest to help into work, combined with his relentless ability to think about new and interesting ways of expanding his business.
A good example of this was when David had taken a huge risk on taking on a far larger building, and suddenly had a huge space in the form of an old industrial unit that had been used as a skate park. As we talked about how he could afford it he ran me through a dozen ideas from opening a café in the kitchen area (and by the way that would involve offering more training opportunities to the local community) to renting out meeting spaces to local businesses, expanding into other training and sharing space with another garage business. These weren’t vague ideas, but well thought through plans. That kind of drive to treat every event as a new opportunity and the willingness to take a well calculated risk sets David apart as a great entrepreneur.