Reginald Larry-Cole is a Sierra Leonean businessman, entrepreneur, author, philanthropist, CEO of the world’s first car leasing companies Buy2LetCars and Wheels4Sure, and a proud father of two. Reginald Larry-Cole was raised in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone to a quite wealthy family. His father was the first black CEO of a Tobacco company called Rokel Leaf. As a child, Reginald Larry-Cole enjoyed his early childhood; he chooses which car should drop and pick him up from school, ate three meals a day, and lived in their own compound that was fully fitted with a private swimming pool and other luxuries. Things began to fall apart when his father decided to resign from his position due to serious life threats he had received from some quarters. His dad took another venture to become a farmer, which led him to own a farming business that went on to became unsuccessful due to government policies. Things started to fall drastically for young Reginald Larry Cole and his family. Reginald Larry-Cole went from eating three meals a day to just one meal a day (white boiled rice and plain white sugar as the sauce). Unfortunately, his parents got divorced along the way.
The unfortunate divorce of his parents affected him greatly. As a kid, he was puzzled as to why such things were happening to him and his family. He could go on and questioned his father “Why wouldn’t you do this and that”. At the age of 16, he dropped out of school with the thought of finding solutions to his struggles. His mother gave him $25, which he used to travel to the UK to create a brighter future for himself and his family.
In his 30s, whilst he was in the UK, he decided to take a different path. He went back to college and got enrolled at the London Metropolitan University where he holds a 2.1 BA (Hons), Business Degree. Whilst at the London Metropolitan University, from 2003-2008, he built a car brokerage firm, Creditlab, which he built from single handily to a multimillion-pound turnover business within five (5) years. Unfortunately, the business was hit by the credit card crunch and he lost everything.
Imagine building something from scratch to a multimillion-pound business, then the credit card crunch came and wiped out all the fortunes you’ve had. This unfortunate incident divided his family and for the first time in his life in the UK, he had to live on government welfare support where he was receiving £64 a week from the UK government. Reginald Larry-Cole tried his best to get back to his knees, but he couldn’t. During these trying times, he said he almost committed suicide but was reinvigorated by God and Barrack Obama.
“You are massively affected when you’re used to running a business that is turning over a couple of million pounds, and then you suddenly go down to £64 a week worth of benefits,” he told The Sun. “I lost my personal self-belief, I lost my family – as well as the cars and the luxury that go with them. On January 1st, 2009, I found myself going to the dole queue for the first time in my life. I was suicidal. But I’m thankful that I’m here to see this day,” he continued.
Reginald Larry-Cole took four years in Europe, the USA, and Africa searching for opportunities. In those four years of trying, whilst trying to raise finance to start up his current companies in 2008-2012, he spoke to 150 sources including banks, businesses, and venture capitalists, and got 150 NOs. He kept on pushing and pursuing his goals till he gave up and went to work in a car showroom in Battersa, London, there he realized many people buy brand new Range Rovers for cash, even in depths of austerity. With bravery, he decided to place an advert in The Sunday Times Newspaper, saying he wanted to talk to someone with wealth who might be interested in his ideas. “It worked,” he said. “Twelve people showed an interest. I took the first one, and he said let’s keep it exclusive. We met the following week. Three hours later, I had funding and a new business.”
Chris Hughes was the person who gave him all the financing (£100,000) he needed to launch his next project, which later becomes successful and turned him into a multi-millionaire. He launched Wheels4Sure and Buy2LetCars, which are car leasing companies in the UK. Within eleven (11) months, he built the new businesses into a multi-million-pound turnover. In just over four (4) years, his leasing income worth £4 million with over £20 million worth of vehicles funded. The fast growth led his leasing company to be included in the Top 50 Fleet News listing, the world’s first car leasing company funded by people for people. His companies are rated 5-star on Trust Pilot with a 97% client satisfaction rating. He also established other new businesses Lifestylebids.com, a luxury auction site, and PayGoCars Limited which provides a high standard of pre-owned vehicles.
Reginald Larry-Cole is also a philanthropist and an author. His book, Compassionate Capitalism shed light on how he turned 150 NOs into 1 YES and built a multi-million empire. The book is a tale from riches to rags to riches. Reginald Larry-Cole also owns a self-funding charity organization called Osmund Marcus Abioseh Cole (OMAC) Foundation, which he named after his late father. The foundation has provided full scholarships and support to 150 students of the St Edwards Primary and Secondary School and St Francis Secondary School, and also donated to The Cowfoot Prince.
The story of Reginald Larry-Cole is one from riches to rags to riches. It’s a story that youth in Sierra Leone should learn from. A story of hard work, a clear vision, determination, perseverance, hope, faith, and self-belief. He was rejected 150 times, today he is a multi-millionaire in (£). Had he gave up, he wouldn’t have been where he is today.
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