Milton Abbey’s Entrepreneur in Residence for 2017/18, Nick Wheeler, the Founder and Chair of the Charles Tyrwhitt Shirt Company, arrived on Friday 24th November accompanied by the whirr of helicopter blades and brought with him an energy and enthusiasm which was infectious.
He held three business workshops with the finalists in the School’s Entrepreneur in Residence competition, Amelia, Henry and Luchino, listening to their business start up proposals and progress to date, advising them and suggesting ways to help their fledgling businesses based on his experience of starting from scratch and building up a business with £ 211m sales.
The School's popular annual Entrepreneur competition, open to all pupils, sees entrants submit business plans detailing how they would develop and launch their own small business concepts. Shortlisted candidates then pitch their ideas to a Business Panel before three successful candidates are then selected and presented with £500 each as start-up funding. This year's successful candidates include Henry, who is designing an invention to keep showers running continuously; Luchino, whose business involves importing Sicilian olive oil; and Amelia (pictured below with Nick Wheeler) who is making sponge bags from recycled fabrics.
A reception with Business and Enterprise pupils, parents and staff was a great opportunity for more of the school community to meet with
Nick and for him to find out about some of the other entrepreneurial enterprises within the school.
Nick then gave a lecture to the whole school which was witty, informative and full of good advice. He stressed the need for anyone wanting to start a business - and there were plenty in the audience - to have a vision, to be focused on what they wanted to achieve, to work hard, have a passion for what they were doing and perhaps above all, to be patient. Nick spoke about the importance of looking after each and every customer and ensuring that staff enjoyed working for Charles Tyrwhitt. Comparing himself to a tortoise he insisted that despite the success of his business, 'the journey has just begun!'
Nick Wheeler said of his visit, "It was great to visit and talk at Milton Abbey and very refreshing to find a school not focussed purely on the pursuit of academic excellence to the exclusion of everything else. There are many things in life more important and it was great fun to find the spirit of entrepreneurialism bubbling away in deepest Dorset.”
Magnus Bashaarat, Headmaster of Milton Abbey School, said, “We are very grateful to Nick or giving up so much of his time to come and meet our entrepreneurs of the future and for inspiring us with his enthusiasm and passion for what he does. I am sure there will be lots of Charles Tyrwhitt parcels underneath Milton Abbey families' Christmas trees this year. After all why wouldn't we want to wear, in Nick’s words, 'the world's best shirts'.”