We are on
a mission

EPIC is passionate about helping young people to be fearless about their futures. We exist to support them in their growth as entrepreneurs who will contribute to a better, more inclusive society where individuals are valued, and communities grow and thrive cohesively.

Our EPIC story

EPIC was founded by Jim and Ayyab Cockburn to support the growth of young, aspiring entrepreneurs between the ages of 16-25, with a particular emphasis on those from disadvantaged, displaced or care backgrounds.
Our structured, three-month programme is designed to equip young adults with the skills and knowledge to turn their dreams into reality and become their own bosses.

EPIC is part of the Martin James Foundation, a charity set up to improve the lives of young people around the world and create a better society for all.

EPIC is also supported by the Martin James Network and is able to utilise the experience, skills, and knowledge from the breath of entrepreneurs who have grown the array of companies that make up MJN.
The Martin James Network’s unifying mission is to create a society where every individual feels valued, without fear, limitation, or prejudice, and therefore EPIC’s overarching mission is to provide opportunities to young people who have, in their life, experienced adversity and/or the care of a local authority, so that we can ensure we’re truly unlocking all human potential.
If you are highly motivated, driven, and want to build your own company but need some assistance in doing so, then please reach out to one of our team members and share your idea.

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Mentors
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Corporate
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Epic is about
fearless futures

The Martin James Network’s unifying mission is to create a society where every individual feels valued, without fear, limitation, or prejudice, and therefore EPIC’s overarching mission is to provide opportunities to young people who have, in their life, experienced some sort of adversity, so that we can ensure we’re truly unlocking all human potential.

If you are highly motivated, driven, and want to build your own company but just need some assistance in doing so, then please reach out to one of our team members and share your idea.

Meet the people behind the work

Throughout EPIC’s three month programme you will have exclusive access to our team of business led professionals, all of whom have experience in business growth from various organisational backgrounds and contribute to a better tomorrow.

EPIC is inspired by Fearless Futures – empowering others to be bold, kind, and courageous in their pursuit to be an entrepreneur.

Read more about the team behind EPIC below:

Jim Cockburn

Co-Founder
Jim qualified as a social worker in the 1970s and went on to establish numerous, successful businesses over the past 25 years ranging from social care to restaurants and artificial intelligence. Between them, these companies have employed thousands of individuals in the UK and across the world.
“Helping young people has always been my mission and it remains the beating heart of my purpose still today because we know young people will change the world; they just sometimes need the patience and support to realise it.”

Ayyab Cockburn

Co-Founder
Ayyab is a champion of change and has dedicated her career to project management and change roles. She leads the Martin James Network change agenda and is passionate about creating a progressive working environment. Ayyab believes in the power of connection and strives for all the businesses within the Martin James Network to work together to disrupt markets and deliver leading edge innovation.
“I founded EPIC to support young people to create real businesses, I am so proud we have achieved that, and I know there are many more young people we will help be bold and courageous in their ventures to be an entrepreneur.”

Calum Sawford

Programme Director

Calum loves all things project management related! He started his career working in financial services for large corporates and consultancies, before setting up his own Limited Company and trying his luck as an independent Programme Manager and Business Transformation consultant. During this time, he worked in both public and private sectors across a range of industries to sharpen his skillset before finding his home in the Martin James Network.

Through his experiences, Calum is a big believer in the importance, and transferrable nature, of proper planning and preparation before embarking on any business (or personal!) endeavour, and that is certainly true when creating a business from scratch. He provides strategic leadership for the EPIC programme and delivers Masterclasses to our EPIC Entrepreneurs, as well as 1-2-1 mentoring to help keep them on track to achieve their business goals

Marc Pearson

Senior Programme Coordinator

Marc has built his career focused on communities and young people. Before joining EPIC, Marc was a Police Community Support Officer, engaging with young people to signpost them away from crime and anti-social behaviour.

Prior to the police, Marc held different roles within the housing sector, from ASB Officer, Housing Officer, Housing Support, and support roles focusing on homelessness and youth homelessness.

Marc is passionate about engaging with the community and has also worked as a Community Engagement Officer for a modern slavery charity, raising awareness across the UK in faith communities, schools and beyond.

Adeola Adelakun

Programme Coordinator

Adeola is the EPIC Programme Coordinator at The Martin James Foundation, where he has been helping young entrepreneurs manage their business projects. He joined Martin James Foundation in the Autumn of 2021, and has enjoyed working with children and young people for nearly a decade; a journey that started as a Teaching Assistant in a Special Needs School.

He graduated from Coventry University in 2013 after studying International Human Resources Management.

Ade enjoys reading, football, and current affairs.

SUPPORT CREW

Amanda Mogan-Wilson

Marketing and Engagement Director

Lana Bass

Digital Marketing Apprentice

Teresa Cotton

Finance Director

Ian Bowker

Legal Counsel

Our EPIC Supporters

EPIC is a part of the Martin James Foundation and funded by the Martin James Network, with generous donations from Agility and Antser.

Ready to join us?