Features / If I Knew Then

‘Failing is not a sign of weakness, it’s a lesson in being better’

By ellie pipe, Thursday Aug 29, 2019

A broadcaster on BBC, Ujima Radio and BCfm, Primrose Granville also works as a voice over artist, event host, public speaker, event management practitioner and community champion.

She trained as an early years’ teacher, but in 2003, had a life-changing accident that forced her to leave the classroom. In 2008, Primrose ‘found’ radio after a long period of illness and fell in love. She won the Best Female Presenter of the Year award at the inaugural Community Radio Awards in 2016.

Primrose went on to launch the Bristol African Caribbean Expo three years ago, which aims to highlight black-owned small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and give them a platform to network and shine. She is also the current chair of Malcolm X Community Centre.

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Affectionately known as ‘Miss Prim’ and ‘Miss Jamaica’, Primrose flies the Jamaican flag in everything she does.

Primrose hosted the City Conversations events alongside John Darvall

How did you start out in business?

My supporters will probably laugh at this, but I still don’t think I’m a businesswoman, I think I’m more of a facilitator. However, I started out because I saw a massive gap in the system and decided to fill it.

If you knew then what you know now, what mistakes might you have avoided?

I would have listened to my supporters more, trusted my own abilities and not shied away from my own calling. I spent a lot of time not launching the expo by myself and even going outside of Bristol to get someone to join me in validating my own idea.



What advice would you have given yourself when starting out?

Please Primrose, just get on and do it! I took the ‘scenic route’. Thankfully, I am surrounded by some very powerful and opinionated people in my life who just kept at me until I just did it.

If you knew then what you know now, would you still be sitting there?

Yes. I know for a fact that I would still be here. I’m blessed enough to be surrounded by positive and determined people who insisted on me doing what I needed to do. They even refused to help me kick start anything but promised to support me once I got going. I thought they were mean at the time, but I now know they were very kind.

What do you know now that you didn’t know then?

I know I can do it and maintain the momentum.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received so far?

Failing is not a sign of weakness, it’s a lesson in being better. I involved someone else in the project and she labelled me incompetent for doing all the groundwork, I believed her and thought I was a failure until a wonderful friend said ‘bun dat’ meaning that’s rubbish. Then he told me the quote above.

What is your business highlight?

Standing in a room full of small to medium enterprise, largely African Caribbean-owned, finally admitting they are entrepreneurs and watching them network and share best practice of their business. That filled me with so much joy and pride.

What is your business low point?

I had a kidney transplant in November 2018 and was planning a major event. I was worried it wouldn’t go ahead and I’d have to cancel.

What keeps you awake?

Improvement. I spend hours thinking how I can make my clients’ experience better and more meaningful to them.

What’s changed from when you started out?

I’m a lot more confident and I’m listening more.

What’s still on your to-do list?

Lots of things but most important growth and improvement.

What’s next for you in business and personally?

I want to launch a series of professional seminars with big name brands to reach young people in ‘marginalised’ communities. Our youth are constantly overlooked and only embraced when others want to look good. It’s time to start building them for them. I’m passionate about building our youth because they are our future.

Personally, I want to spend more time looking after me because I need to.

Read more: Time for change in Bristol

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