Class of 2024 Achievements: James Barber on Supporting Charities – News
4 mins read

Class of 2024 Achievements: James Barber on Supporting Charities – News

Class of 2024 Achievements: James Barber on Supporting Charities – News

James Barber is a final year Maths and Computer Science student who is due to graduate in July 2024. This year, James was awarded the Exceptional Entrepreneur award as part of the University’s Equality+ Awards.

We spoke to James about his achievements and future plans after graduation.

If you would like to follow James, you can follow him on or X (@JamesRoryBarber). You can also learn more about Jamescape on LinkedIn. You can follow Harker on LinkedIn, X (@harkerapp), or Instagram (@harkerapp).

What was the most important moment of your life at university?

The highlight of my time at university was all the people I met along the way. I made lifelong friends, listened to inspiring speakers and scholars, and found so many people with whom I could share my passions and interests.

What do you plan to do after graduation?

Continue fundraising for my startup Harker to build a platform to help solve homelessness using data and AI. We are a team of (mostly) University of Liverpool students and graduates, building software solutions for charities to help them save money and time.

In 10 years I would like to still be living in Liverpool (the place that became my home during my studies), running a successful start-up and engaging in other entrepreneurial adventures.

Since graduating, several of my colleagues have joined me full time in building Harker and we are currently raising investment to complete the development. We hope to make a difference to as many charities as possible and, in doing so, enable them to support as many homeless people as possible. Anyone interested in finding out more can do so at harkerapp.com.

You have been awarded the Exceptional Entrepreneur award. Can you tell us more about it:

We won the award for a number of reasons. We have implemented a major project at work around fair recruitment and good EDI practices, and the product we are creating is intrinsically positive for EDI, supporting some of the most disadvantaged in our society, the homeless.

I commissioned a project to achieve Disability Confident Leader status through the government’s Disability Confident scheme to ensure we were doing everything we could to make our student startup the best it could be for disabled people. Through this project we implemented a number of improvements to my student startup that directly improved the interview and hiring experience for our team (the majority of whom are current UoL students or graduates). You can read more on the Jamescape blog.

During our recent Year in Industry student interviews (all from the University of Liverpool) we implemented a new interview practice and received very positive feedback from all involved. We hope this will encourage more disabled people to work for us in the future.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I think it would be to keep going and try as many things as you can and say yes to as many opportunities as you can. University is an incredibly exciting time with the chance to try so many new things, meet different people and have unique experiences, so just do what you can, what’s the worst that can happen?

Resources recommended by James:

Visit Jamescape if you would like to help your employer obtain Disability Confident, and also the Government’s Disability Confident website.

James’ last words:

I would like to thank my supervisor, Martin Gairing, for his support during my studies and Lindsay Chadwick for her support as well. Both have given me significant academic support and Lindsay has supported me personally at difficult times.

My team at Harker/Jamescape has been invaluable to my professional development and has enabled me to deliver on the EDI work we have been working on recently.

I would personally like to thank my partner, Emmeline, for her help over the past few years, for helping me stick to my plan and supporting me in dealing with the stress of completing my degree and running my own business.