Still time for budding entrepreneurs to enter 'Young Business Tigers' competition

Jim Dale

Jim Dale

First published in News

THERE is still time to get your entry in for the Young Business Tigers Competition - which will see a Hazlemere entrepreneur invest £5,000 in the idea of an up and coming young business mind.

Jim Dale, founder and owner of British Weather Services, an independent global meteorological company which has been delivering forecasts and weather information since 1987, is hoping to give a boost to the next generation of Bucks entrepreneur.

He said: "I want to give a helping hand - it’s not just the money; this will also have me acting as a mentor, to offer what I can when I can.

"Relatively successful people like me should always be able to pass on knowledge and other necessary ‘tools’ to those around them so they have increased chances to prosper".

Jim, who discovered his passion for working in weather after qualifying as a meteorological observer in the Navy, founded his business after facing redundancy from a later job.

Inspired to step out on his own he soon founded his own business, which has since gone from strength to strength.

Setting up shop in his own home - in 1987, before the onset of the internet and communications technology that nowadays makes home-working common, he relied on the trusty fax machine and his meteorological experience for much of his information.

Recruiting freelancers to join him (including the likes of former BBC favourite, John Kettley), the service soon took off, and continues to thrive.

He said: "We were constantly innovating - to work from home, to have a website, to have a mobile phone the size of a brick at the time. We simply kept pace with technology as it moved."

As the internet grew in popularity and more weather information became available for free, the firm evolved further to remain profitable, finding niches to fill - such as giving forecasts to bookmakers ahead of major sporting events, or offering services to legal practices and logistics firms.

Now he hopes to make a £5k investment in the businesses of up to two young entrepreneurs selected from the applicants, in return for a stake in their companies.

He said of any budding entrepreneurs: "I am looking for ‘wow factor’ - something that makes me sit-up and think, 'yes - fantastic idea, motivated owner'. I want to help you."

Applicants and queries should be submitted to office@britishweatherservices.co.uk, marked Young Business Tigers Competition, by January 17, 2014.

Applicants, aged 16-25, should include a summary of their idea and why they should benefit from a £5,000 investment - in no more than 300 words.

A shortlist of applicants will be invited to give a short presentation at a date TBC.

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