A young businessman who helped settle his father’s £500,000 secret gambling debts and went on to reform the betting industry has now turned his sights to helping youngsters – in Rwanda. Adam Bradford only learnt of his dad’s addiction when he was told his father was going to prison, having been found guilty of stealing £50,000 from his bosses.
The then-21-year-old made it his mission to pay back every penny owed, before creating a betting safety app, BetProtect, to help prevent others enduring similar pain and suffering.
After selling the app to international gambling body, Crucial Compliance, he made it his life’s work to help youngsters become successful business owners just like him.
And having supported countless people in the UK, he’s now working with budding entrepreneurs 6,000-plus miles away in Rwanda.
Adam, who was diagnosed with autism aged 11, said: “Last year, we sold BetProtect to one of the biggest gaming consultancies who work with the big gambling operators.
“When you’re playing online, Crucial’s software actually detects when you’re spending a bit more than usual, using AI and algorithms – if it’s late at night, whether you’re playing in a strange pattern, things like that.
“Then it helps the company look at how to deal with the customer to keep them safe. It’s all about preventing the addiction from taking over somebody in that state of mind.”
Now, Adam’s turning his philanthropic nature to those halfway around the world – in a land-locked country in central Africa.
He said: “I have a Queen’s Young Leaders Award, which is a Commonwealth award for young people who have displayed leadership and doing things in their community.
“Through there, I went to a Commonwealth meeting in Kigali, which is the capital of Rwanda, last June.
I think the people are some of the friendliest people in the whole world
“I met up with an old friend called Emmanuel Nshimiyimana who’s based there, with a charity called Rwanda Opportunities Organization.
“It supports young people from rural communities with things like literacy and reading and writing skills, and they also do entrepreneurship and ICT work as well.
“I was just fascinated by what the country’s doing, because we’ve always had an eye for giving opportunities, supporting the next generation, wanting to mentor and give back.
“And then something just struck a chord – I’d made my decision within 48 hours.”
Adam also thinks the general public’s view of Rwanda is old-fashioned, and the country has a bright future, both in agriculture – and the technology sector.
He said: “I think the people are some of the friendliest people in the whole world, and I’ve travelled a lot – they are very kind, they’re friendly, they would do anything for you.
“I hate the adverts that are on the TV that are like please give £2 to get a child water, and everyone’s crying.
“And I think yes, there are parts of Africa that are very poor, there are parts of every country that are very poor where people live in poverty, but this just changed my whole perception.
“Primarily, it’s agriculture – it’s farming, it’s fruit and veg, food, that kind of stuff. The land is very fertile, it’s a very green country.
“Secondly, they’re building themselves up as a tech hub, so there’s lots of coding academies and business incubators and projects that are starting, and we’re getting involved in a few of them ourselves as well.”
As for life in Africa, Adam’s found swapping the hills of Sheffield for the mountains of Rwanda interesting, to say the least.
He said: “Lions and monkeys in the back garden isn’t a million miles from the truth. I live behind a volcano which is in one of the reserves. It’s one of the old ones.
“There’s gorillas in there, so I’m pretty sure if you walked a few hundred meters behind my house you might find them.”
And Adam’s success story looks set to continue – in Hollywood.
The entrepreneur is currently a consulting producer for a new movie which focusses on autism.
Details are under wraps at the moment, but the film stars an A-lister and should be released later this year.
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