In October 2017, Jacob (Year 10) had just finished his swimming lesson when he decided that he wanted to set up his own market stall. Jacob told his friends and together they brainstormed ideas as to what they could make and sell. Eventually they decided that candles would be their best bet, since they are easy to make and not too expensive. In an “all hands on deck” fashion, Jacob’s family and friends stepped in to help, and One Small Candle was born. The not-for-profit organisation aims to show young people around the world how to make and sell high quality candles to raise money and awareness for young refugees globally.

In 2018, One Small Candle continued to grow, working with a graphic designer to produce its own logo and experimenting with mixing new candle scents. By the end of 2018, the organisation had made a total of £2,000, from which donations were made to Grace Aid charity, enough to buy a second hand mini bus for the charity to transport rice to refugee camps in France and Italy.

Keen to develop the product further, Jacob visited the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers in 2019 to receive expert advice on how to produce the perfect candle. Following this, Jacob and his team settled on producing soy candles with two popular scents – Orange and Clove and Lemongrass.

Earlier this year, Jacob applied as a Youth Ambassador to HundrED, a global innovation company that aims to improve the world through education. After being accepted, Jacob got straight to work by creating his own page on their website and making a “how-to” video so that anyone in the world could make and sell their own candles to raise money for refugee charities.

In November 2019, Jacob joined seven Youth Ambassadors shortlisted and selected from around the world for HundrED’s first ever Innovation Summit in Helsinki. During his week in Finland, Jacob met with the Founder of gaming company, Supercell, visited Nokia HQ and participated in numerous workshops and activities. Jacob made lifelong friendships with fellow Youth Ambassadors and, because of these connections, One Small Candle is likely to expand globally, with other Youth Ambassadors keen to make Jacob’s social enterprise international.

“We know we can make a difference to the world. We’re doing it one small candle at a time.”