In 1998, David McKernan left his job, remortgaged his house, and cashed in his pension to fund his start-up coffee company, Java Republic. Now he’s turning over €8m.
Articles written by Jody Clarke
Frances Dickens was working at a US barter company when she realised the firm needed to make changes to make profits in the UK. Unable to make her bosses listen, she struck out on her own. Now her company, Astus, is set to turn over £60m a year.
Ex-copper Phil Cleary was frustrated by the police’s ‘one man and his dog’ approach to recovering stolen property. So he invented his own tracking system, and now his company is worth £35m.
Minicab driver John Griffin lacked ambition until the birth of his two sons. Then he founded his own company, Addison Lee. Now turns over £180m a year.
Ex-accountant Guy Schanschieff set up a nappy laundry service in 1992. Now his company, Bambino Mio, turns over £3m and has 42 distributors in 60 countries worldwide.
Ex-City analyst Tom Marchant started his travel company with £20,000 savings. After honourable mentions in glosssy magazines, the company’s now turning over £7.5m.
Jan Ward has always been a risk taker. And it has paid off, as the company she started with £3,000 savings, Corrotherm International, now turns over £14m a year.
Ex-marketing director Mary Ann O’Brien was inspired to begin making chocolates while on holiday in South Africa. She got her first big break supplying chocs to Aer Lingus, and now her company turns over £16m.
As an MI5 agent, Nick Day wanted a more entrepreneurial careers. So he and a colleague from the CIA set up their own company, Diligence, advising companies on doing business in emerging markets.
After having their ideas turned down by short-sighted bosses, Paul Luen and his colleages set up their own business. This year, their company is set to turnover £5m.