Ben Allen was awarded a £10,000 prize for his innovative business, Oomph Wellness, which offers exercise, dance and art therapy sessions for the elderly in the care sector.  Since starting his business just over 18 months ago, Oomph Wellness has reached 15,000 elderly in 500 care homes across the country. Ben saw off strong competition from nearly 800 UK entrants. 

The Shell LiveWIRE programme has been supporting UK entrepreneurs for over three decades.  Since it launched in 1982, it has awarded more than £5 million in award grants to thousands of innovative small businesses across the UK, and continues to inspire and support the next generation of ingenuity.

Ben currently employs 26 full time staff in 7 cities across the UK. He is experiencing a month-on-month growth of 20% and expects his revenues to be in excess of £0.5million within the next 12 months.

Ben underwent an independent judging process by a panel of eight business experts, including Laura Wyatt-Smith from The Prince's Trust, former Apprentice candidate and TV presenter Saira Khan and the 2011 Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year award winner and founder of KwickScreen, Michael Korn.

Ben said: “It’s a great honour to win the Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, and the prize money will be a huge boost to my business. I’ve learnt so much already through the Shell LiveWIRE process, and have had the opportunity to network with some brilliant business minds from across the UK. I feel incredibly lucky to be doing something I genuinely care about, and would definitely encourage others to do the same.”

Graham van’t Hoff, Chairman, Shell UK, said: “Enterprise development and innovation are as important today as ever in creating the jobs and wealth that the UK needs.   It’s inspiring to see the continued success of innovative companies, such as this year’s Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year award winner Ben Allen, despite the challenging economic climate.

“Shell LiveWIRE has been running in the UK since 1982 and has helped thousands of young people in the UK by offering an independent and free online service and awards programme for young entrepreneurs.  Innovation is central to meeting society’s challenges and it’s why at Shell, we champion innovation both in young entrepreneurs and in our own business.”

Notes to editors

  1. The awards were judged by:
  • Guy Rigby (Head of Entrepreneurs, Smith & Williamson)
  • Saira Khan (CBBC Presenter at BBC)
  • Tom Cheshire (Associate Editor, WIRED Magazine)
  • Penny Power (Founder, Digital Youth Academy)
  • Laura Wyatt-Smith (Senior Head of National Programmes - Enterprise and Employment, The Prince's Trust)
  • Caroline Murray (Development Manager, UnLtd)
  • Michael Korn (Founder and Director, KwickScreen)
  • Colin Abraham (Shell Vice President Marketing, Lubricants and Commercial Fuels)

Shell seeks to initiate, establish and support Social Investment programmes that are aligned with its business. Social investment activities are themed around science education, enterprise development and innovation.

  • Shell LiveWIRE has been running in the UK since 1982, when it was launched in the Strathclyde region of Scotland to combat the high level of youth unemployment. Since then it has helped thousands of young people in the UK to explore starting their own business and has spread to over 17 countries around the world. Shell LiveWIRE offers an independent and free online service and awards programme for young entrepreneurs.
    Up to four Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas awards of £1,000 are given to start-up businesses every month. The Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award of £10,000 has been running since 1982 and continues to recognise and celebrate outstanding young entrepreneurs in the UK. Shell LiveWIRE has awarded a total of £5 million to young entrepreneurs since launching 30 years ago.
  • Shell Education Service provides a series of unique, interactive science workshops to approximately 60,000 young children a year.  Workshops are designed to support the National Curriculum in over 600 primary schools, benefitting both the pupils and teachers. The Shell Education Service also organises science days for local communities and trainee teachers, building their confidence and skills in teaching science.  Shell has run this programme for over 50 years.
  • Shell Springboard is fully funded and managed by Shell. It provides a financial boost to UK based, small to medium sized enterprises with innovative, low carbon business ideas.  Since being set up in 2005, Shell Springboard has provided awards totalling over £2.25 million to 62 companies with no strings attached. 

To find out more about Shell Social Investment, please visit:

Royal Dutch Shell plc

Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam and New York stock exchanges. Shell companies have operations in more than 80 countries and territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects. For further information, visit - Opens on

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