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10 minutes with... Daniel Simmons

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10 minutes with... Daniel Simmons

I am a 24 year old Cardiff University graduate (2015) and Founder of Populate Social – one of the UK’s top 5 social media marketing agencies. Despite being a non-Welshman, I decided to start a business here due to the fantastic support on offer from Welsh Government and ancillary services. I am a passionate entrepreneur, who is looking to provide visible inspiration to other young people who want to steer clear of the monotony of graduate jobs and start something of their own. In 2017 I was awarded Cardiff Young Businessperson of the Year in the Cardiff Business Awards, having also been shortlisted the year previous.

What gets you out of bed on a Monday morning?

The drive to want to achieve something memorable. I also dislike not being the first person in the office!

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

At this moment in time I feel like there’s no point in dwelling on the past. We’re growing quickly and there’s some big achievements ahead for us! If I have to give an answer, I’d say doubling the size of the business year on year.   

Tea or Coffee?


What is the one thing you would tell your 16 year old self?

Follow your passions and don’t let anything stand in the way. Don’t forget to make time for family and friends, and if you think it’s hard to run your own business, think again, it’s even harder – nobody hears or speaks about the tough times, they just see the end result.

p.s. put all of your pocket money in to BitCoin!

How do you like to spend your spare time?

Spare time is a bit of a myth… however when I do get a moment, I enjoy getting out on the golf course and attending any sporting occasion I can get to!

What is your favourite thing about running your own business?

For me it is the ability to have control over your future and the autonomy to action your vision. I want to inspire others by being successful and I hope that what we achieve will go some way to doing that.

What’s one quality you think an entrepreneur needs to possess?

There’s not one thing that I think an entrepreneur needs. There’s no one-size fits all policy in my opinion. However, good entrepreneurs seem to have a great team around them, they are aware of what they are good at and bring others in to support them.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Inspiration comes in many forms for me. From stories of peers who are living business success to our team at Populate who I strive to help improve and grow every single day. I take inspiration from as many different sources as possible!

What are your Top Tips for a winning business pitch?

Be confident in your ability and empathetic in your delivery.

What’s your favourite TV show/podcast and why?

Favourite is almost impossible to say, the ones I have been in to recently are; Power, Designated Survivor and Suits.

Big night out or quite night in?

At the time I’d say big night out, in the morning I’d say quiet night in!