Born in 1997 into a difficult and hectic family, Li lived almost exclusively with his mother and five siblings up until the age of 10, when he was taken into foster care due to the neglect and violence he experienced within both parental homes.
The first placement, of just 10 months, was with a family friend, whilst the second was longer at four years.
The foster carers at his second placement helped Li enormously in dealing with many of his issues, for which he is eternally grateful; however, his needs required more advanced assistance from carers with more specialist knowledge, and so at 15 he was placed into semi-independent residential care homes in order to develop life skills and learn to successfully manage his lingering mental health issues.
At around the same time, he started a company called Blue Shark Projects, designing websites and offering a 24/7 technology solution service to businesses needing his help.
Two years later he started a BTEC 1st Diploma in ICT, achieving a Merit. Having learned Android app development as part of the course, he coded several proxy apps. After they garnered over 50,000 downloads worldwide, he added Google Ad-Sense to generate an income; using this money, he spent some time researching wholesale marketing, and finally bought stock from China – in total around 5,000 units of mixed items including shredders, USBs and other miscellaneous tech-related items, selling them all online before leaving the care system.
Upon leaving the care system and moving back to his home town, where he found himself involved with the wrong people, and by the time he was 19 he was homeless. Five months were spent living in a tent in the woods, surviving the winter on “legal highs”.
Recognising that life could not continue this way, Li got himself clean and secured a flat in Margate, Kent, as well as an apprenticeship with Alpha Core International, a one-stop business solution. Despite loving working there, it soon became apparent that it was not going to be the long-term placement he was looking for, and so the placement came to an end. Undaunted, he decided to set up a few companies of his own with Hayden Irwin, whilst also growing an online audience via YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
Whilst waiting for an income to begin generating from the new businesses, at the start of 2017 he began working for OCS – a zero hours contract as a stock taker – but in July he was able to move on from this to a residential care home in Gravesend, Kent. Now earning a regular and secure income, he is able to focus once again on personal projects and continue with freelancing work and future investment opportunities.