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.”