18/11/09 Entrepreneurs Bootcamp™ “12th Man” Wins Employer of the Year Award


We are delighted to announce that Security Management South West Ltd last night won a Heart FM Pride of Plymouth Award as Employer of the Year.  Held each year, the Pride of Plymouth awards highlight outstanding businesses and individuals from the Plymouth community who have “…gone above and beyond the call of duty”.

Each nominee is voted for by Heart FM’s listeners and the final three in each category got to attend Heart’s Pride of Plymouth Gala Evening yesterday evening at The New Continental Hotel. The evening was hosted by Heart Breakfast’s Maxine & Hamish and according to the radio stations’s website “It was a touching and emotional night as we heard the reasons behind each of the winners nominations and at times there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!”

Security Management South West were nominated for the Employer of the Year category which is sponsored by Job Centre Plus, who said “We have been looking for an outstanding business who has helped to get unemployed people working, from varying backgrounds.  This employer will be recognised as a valued business who has helped towards developing the local community.”

According to Job Centre Plus, what probably got so many people to vote for them made Ken York and Jay Morrish, Directors of Security Management South West the winners was: “We would like to nominate Ken York and Jay Morrish at Security Management South West (SMSW) for the care and attention they have shown long term job seekers in Plymouth and Devon.  SMSW have built relationships with public and volunteer organisations to make their vision of providing lasting and supportive employment to jobseekers with serious barriers to work including incapacity, lone parents, poverty, learning difficulties and drug and alcohol misuse.

This excellent work has so far gone unrewarded while Ken and Jay have continued to support their employees with a rewarding career, employment potential and training.”

Hear, hear! We agree!  And Entrepreneurs Bootcamp™ is especially proud of Ken and Jay.  We first met Ken when he applied to come on the 2007 Entrepreneurs Bootcamp™.   He had some great business ideas but we didn’t have a 12th sponsor to enable him to attend the 5-Day Bootcamp, so the Bootcamp’s host company Pragmatic Performance Group provided mentoring support to SMSW as the Bootcamp’s “12th man”!  These guys know just how to balance the business needs with ensuring their staff are looked after, so they are worthy winners of this Employer of the Year award.

Sue Windley

Co-Designer of the Entrepreneurs Bootcamp

Day 1: Bootcampers vs Tigers!

On their first day of immersion in the Entrepreneurs Bootcamp, the Bootcampers explored what it means to be a good leader, especially when life conspires to make things difficult for the entrepreneur! We were privilidged to have the chance to meet and chat with Ben Mee, owner of the Dartmoor Zoological Park. You may remember Ben’s Zoo on the BBC that showed his story of how as a writer with no previous experience in zoology, he spent his family’s life savings to re-open DZP in July 2007.

Ben’s story is inspirational for new and would-be entrepreneurs in demonstrating how sheer determination to succeed will enable you to beat the odds and still win. As well as taking the Bootcampers through the highs and lows of his ‘adventures’, Ben then took us all on a personal guided tour of the zoo to show us just how far the zoo has developed since it first re-opened. He even introduced the Bootcampers to the Tigers – a unique experience of getting that close to a tiger is something the Bootcampers won’t forget in a hurry! At least it will give them the confidence to deal with Dragons in the future!

25/03/2009 EB News Archive


25 March 2009 by Matt Fleming, Business Editor, Plymouth Herald

Plymouth’s 2nd Entrepreneurs Bootcamp™ begins on Monday 30 March 2009. The challenge – which aims to give the participants five years’ worth of business experience in as many days – will take place throughout next week. The first event was held in March 2007 and the challenge this year aims to build on its success.

The 2007 Bootcamp saw 11 business wannabes taking part in mental and physical challenges including exercises with the Royal Marines. They also got the chance to meet finance experts and pick the business brains of people such as puzzle entrepreneur Danny Bamping. All the participants have now moved forward with their business ideas to either expand their companies or actually start trading.

Co-designer Sue Windley, of Pragmatic Performance Group Ltd, said this year’s Bootcamp would be divided into three parts: the five-day immersion event which would take place next week, then monthly workshop meetings where various activities would happen as a follow-up for one year, as well as mentoring meetings each month with each Bootcamper to keep their business ideas on track. The exact details of what await the Bootcampers – who were recruited through a Dragons’ Den-style competition – are being kept as a secret for the first part of the challenge, taking place next week.

The participants are a mixture of new entrepreneurs who have been successful in winning sponsorship by local organisations and recently established business people who are paying their own way through the experience.  “We’re particularly excited about this year’s challenge,” said Sue. “Everybody’s talking about the recession and we want to challenge people to start up a business during it. The Bootcamp accelerates the start-up of the participants’ businesses and will build on what we achieved in 2007.”