Jamie founded Glasses Direct while still at university, fighting to create a business that could offer £15 pairs of glasses over the internet. That was in 2004. Today, the business has saved the British public an estimated £30m and has won numerous awards including the UK Shell Livewire Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Wales and West Country Entrepreneur of the Year Award, NatWest Entrepreneur of the Year Award and Daily Mail Enterprising Young Brit. Jamie is also an advisor to the both major political parties on their enterprise strategies and has appeared in several national newspapers and broadcasters. His enthusiasm for entrepreneurialism means he is also an ambassador for UK enterprise.
The founder and chief executive of Glasses Direct relates how being on the hunt for a business idea, market research at university and a persistent approach to secure a supply route, led to the creation of the worlds largest online retailer of prescription glasses. He speaks of the difficulties of becoming a young entrepreneur and how embracing the leaps of faith are essential for all start ups.
This interview provides expert advice on how to finance a business whether through angel investors or VCs, and how he managed to secure over £6.5 million in funding for Glasses Direct. Jamie talks of the process by which he created the best team possible for his company, including PR and marketing, all people who had a wealth of experience from working in other major businesses. The entrepreneur also refers to the legal battle with Specsavers and his reasoning for stepping down as managing director.
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