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niche market regardless of where the economy is, there’s always going to be a market for your product.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?

Make sure you do your research, have something unique and just do it. You don’t have much to lose and if you really believe in your idea, then you can do it.

What qualities are important to have to make it as an entrepreneur?

Somebody who sees ideas and can implement them and stay focused. You have to be able to network because that’s very important in business.

And finally, with the theme for this issue of Flavour being Must be the Movie, what film character would you say best represents your product? Er, I’d say Betty Boop. My logo is a little lady – it’s quite sexy and sassy so it would have to be her.

Mainly the older generation that have been doing it for years. When I go to meetings, if I don’t agree with something they have said, sometimes they can find it hard to hear what I have to say. It’s like they’ve been working in it for over 10 years and I’m coming at it from a completely different point of view because I’m living it.

YOUNG AND AMBITIOUS Eliza Rebeiro Lives Not Knives

After being excluded from her convent school at the age of 14, Eliza Rebeiro began to see life from a different point of view.

No longer in school, she was now faced with the trials and tribulations of growing up in a rough area, and by her own admission, she hadn’t realised just how much some young people go through.

Now aged just 20 she is the driving force behind the Lives Not Knives campaign, which goes into schools to inform young people of the dangers of carrying a knife. It’s hard to believe that the whole campaign started with a simple slogan on a T-shirt and is now a leader in the fight against knife crime and gang culture.

You started the Lives Not Knives campaign in 2007 at only 14 – what affect has knife crime had on you personally and what made you start the campaign? At the time there was a lot of

stuff in the media about young people getting stabbed and killed, and I realised that no one really understood what was going on. There was no positive stuff about the victims; all it would say is this young person was in a gang, and in a sense it was saying that their life deserved to be taken. It showed nothing positive and I thought it was really unfair that every young person was being used as a statistic.

What do you think needs to be done in order to combat knife crime on our streets? It’s all about prevention. At the moment we’re going into primary schools and talking to 10 and 11-year-olds about the dangers of getting involved. We also do mentoring from the ages of 10 and 11 as well, and for children in years seven and eight.

As a young person, what obstacles have you faced trying to start your business?


How has being a Virgin Media Pioneer benefited you? It builds your confidence to want to do more; it’s nice when people comment and say, ‘I’m featuring your video this week.’ It gets people to recognise that you’re doing something and to believe in you. That gives you the power and energy to want to do it even more so; it’s really, really positive.

How did you first come to hear about the project? We were in a meeting and someone mentioned Virgin Media Pioneers. My mum googled it and that was it really.

Do you think violence and the glamorisation of gang culture in movies has a part to play in the social issues we are now facing? I think there are many films that show it, but I think it needs to be shown to be out there. Some films don’t glamorise it, but they show what’s actually happening and I think that it needs to be shown for older people to see it; they need to be pushed to the older generation as well as the younger generation.

If you could pick one character from a movie to come and talk to the young people you work with, who would it be?

I think I would pick Jay from Kidulthood or the guy that died at the end, Trevor. I think Trevor because he was pressured into doing things; I think he would be a great person to talk to young people about peer pressure and how it affects your life.

For more information on the LIVES NOT KNIVES campaign visit

Interview by Antoinette Powell

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