Hayley Mulenda: The teenage motivational speaker who built an award-winning business fighting bullies

MOTIVATIONAL: Hayley Mulenda

MOTIVATIONAL: Hayley Mulenda

MEET HAYLEY Mulenda, the young entrepreneur who has gone from being a victim of bullying to a nationally-acclaimed motivational speaker.

Following two years of merciless tormenting in school, the 18-year-old founded Inside a Dream, a motivational company that inspires youngsters to live to their fullest potential.

What started as a blog three years ago has blossomed into a UK-wide movement, which has enabled Hayley to travel across the country helping thousands of students.

And as a result, she has since been named the Most Inspirational and Most Influential Black Entrepreneur in the UK for under 21s by Black Enterprise.

In an exclusive interview with The Young Empire, Hayley explained all about her rapid rise from shy school girl to award-winning orator.

“I went to an all-girls school and I was bullied from the end of year seven through the whole of year eight,” she recalled.

“It got really bad. I wanted to move schools. I even wanted to leave the country, that’s how bad it got. But my mum made me realise that I had to face the bullying. I had to gain confidence and realise that no matter how bad it got, the bullying wouldn’t be forever.

“After I over came the bullying I decided I would never let anyone feel the way I did.   That’s when I realised I wanted to uplift others in some kind of way,” she added.

BLACK GIRLS ROCK: Hayley with BBC's Apprentice runner-up and entrepreneur, Bianca Miller

BLACK GIRLS ROCK: Hayley with BBC’s Apprentice runner-up and entrepreneur, Bianca Miller

But it wasn’t until she was 16 that Hayley discovered her calling was in motivational speaking, following a coincidental meeting with UK-based life coach Action Jackson.

“When I was in year 12, my teacher asked me what I wanted to be, and I was thrown back, because I didn’t have the answer. But I thought about it and told my teacher I want to own my own motivational speaking company,” she explained.

“And it just so happened that the school had booked a motivational speaking session assembly on that day, which I didn’t know about. It was led by Action Jackson and when he asked for five people to stand up, I stood up.

“When he asked us what we wanted to be, everyone else said either midwife, or solicitor, or accountant and I said I want to be an entrepreneur and own my own motivational speaking company. Because I said it to him with so much confidence, he gave me a copy of his book.”

Still, it took the teenager a while to take her first steps into public speaking. Not knowing exactly what to do or how to help, she looked to the internet to try and spread her positive energy.

COVER STAR: Hayley holds up a copy of a magazine where she is featured beside entrepreneur Bianca Miller

COVER STAR: Hayley holds up a copy of a magazine where she is featured beside entrepreneur Bianca Miller

“Although I knew what I wanted I wasn’t sure how to get it, so I started a blog. It was really to get my word around and let people know I am all about uplifting others.  And that’s when I started to learn to connect with people, because they started to commenting on my posts and telling me my posts were beneficial.”

Registering her company a day before her 18th birthday, Hayley then looked to take Inside a Dream across the country and has since worked with thousands of kids, helping them get motivated.

“Inside a Dream goes inside the minds of young people and helps to alter their perspectives and help them to realize they can achieve anything, if they want to.

“They also need to realise there are consequences to their actions, they have to work for it. But if Skepta can come out of north London and sign Drake, what makes you think you can’t do something great.   We all have similar abilities and we have the same 24 hours in a day, so you can do it.”

But how do you stay motivated?

“The main thing is to remember your ‘why,’” Hayley said instantly. “Think about the end goal and what you want to achieve and it will help you to acheive it. Vision boards also help to visualise your dreams, you’re able to see what you want every day and look at who you want to accomplish.”


 GET A MENTOR: “They’ve made a hundred mistake before you, which means you make a hundred mistakes less. Action Jackon and Alan Kamar are my two mentors, they have gotten me this far, and it’s so important that I acknowledge them, if it wasn’t for them believing in me I wouldn’t believe in myself.”

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE THAT SUPPORT YOU: “If you are with like-minded, positive people, you’re more likely to be in a good space.”

FOLLOW GREATNESS: “Whatever you follow will follow you.”

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF: “If you can not do that no one will believe in you.”

TRUST IN YOUR ABILITY: “A lot of people believe in themselves but don’t trust in what they can do, that’s so important.”

STAY POSITIVE: “No matter what happens, keep positive and everything’s possible and it’s all down to perspective. If you look at the bright side of life bright things will happen to you.”

For more tips of success or motivational information from Hayley, visit her blog at


WORDS: Hazelann Williams


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