The Secret Millionaire
The income generated from her Platinum Property Partners franchise has enabled Caroline Marsh to take part in philanthropic endeavours, such as Channel 4's recent series The Secret Millionaire
Platinum Property Partners' Swindon franchisee Caroline Marsh, who is 32 and married with three children is currently riding a media wave after being featured on a recent episode of the Channel 4 programme The Secret Millionaire.
In January 2008 PPP put Caroline forward to the producers of the show, who were looking for inspirational and highly successful philanthropic businesspeople for their new series. Caroline's desire to be a blessing to others, combined with her proven business skills, established property portfolio and bright, warm approach meant she was quickly accepted and in March she was whisked away on location.
She spent a week in Toxteth, Liverpool, living as a single mother with her youngest son, looking for local projects and people to whom she felt she could really add some value, as well as simply giving money. Throughout her life, right from her childhood in her native Zambia where her life was turned upside down at 13 when her father died and her family lost everything, Caroline has consistently demonstrated resilience, determination, integrity, passion, leadership, creativity and generosity, and it is these skills and values she loves sharing with others.
'I have been so blessed in my own life and feel so fortunate to have found people who have helped me achieve and exceed my expectations and goals, that I wanted to do the same for someone else and to be able to make a difference in their life,' says Caroline. 'Growing up in Zambia, where everyone has this image of England as offering a perfect, rose-tinted life, I felt it was really important for me to see the kind of hardship that I never knew still exists in this country. Most successful entrepreneurs who are featured on television - Sir Alan Sugar, Peter Jones, Duncan Bannatyne for example - seem to be male, white and aged 40 or over, so I think the fact that I am young, female and African probably made me stand out for the producers.
'I will continue to support the projects in Toxteth financially, as will the Platinum Partners Foundation, but probably more importantly I'm going to be there physically for the long-term, helping them with personal development, being involved in strategic future planning meetings and attending events. It's a wonderful feeling to see them succeed and consistently get better at what they're doing with the small businesses they're running for the community.
'I'm so excited about the success I've achieved - my property investing journey as a franchise partner has enabled me to do so much more than I ever thought I would - and as a result of speaking at PPP events and at other property shows and exhibitions my confidence has really grown. The Secret Millionaire has highlighted to me the difference I can make, and I think I've realised that I have untapped potential to encourage others to be more in their lives, and can really motivate people to achieve great results.
'As well as continuing to be a part of the two Liverpool projects, I'm planning to make a real difference in Swindon. I have already registered with The Red Cross to help in the local community, and we're also planning on opening a young peoples' centre in Swindon, which will provide a safe environment for young women to live, eat, train and come for inspiration and support, to help them make changes in their lives. And together with my church I'm going to do 'extreme makeovers' for underprivileged families, using the skills I've acquired while renovating my own investment properties - now that's going to be fun! And as if all that wasn't enough, I'm going to be buying more investment properties and expanding my buy-to-let portfolio by five in the next 12 months. It might be a lot to do, but honestly, I know I can do anything now if I put my mind to it.'
Reported by Sarah Walker