Next Upstarts Club™ – Plymouth – Thursday May 6th 2010

We are delighted to announce that the next Upstarts Club™ will be hosted by Marjon on Thursday May 6th 2010.

The Upstarts Club™ is open to would-be, new and experienced entrepreneurs who want the chance to chat informally about developing new businesses.  For the ‘newbies’ you have the chance to learn from the real-life experiences of our established entrepreneurs – and those of us who have “been there and done that” we always enjoy getting to hear new ideas!

The Upstarts Club™ is a hosted networking event which means attendees get introduced to the contacts they need and learn quickly from the tips and ideas on offer.  Unlike most networks, the Upstarts Club™ concentrates on sharing knowledge by introducing novices and start ups to established business people and business support specialists who can make a practical difference to a business idea.

Thanks to our hosts Marjon, the Upstarts Club™ is free of charge to attend but we do need to know you’re coming, so we can make sure the catering has enough to go round (yes, we’ll even feed and water you too!).  You can book your place by contacting either Sue Windley (PPG’s Marketing Director and Founder of the Upstarts Club™) or Nicky Primavesi (President of Marjon’s Student Union).

In addition, if you are thinking of starting up a new business, you can hook into the more interactive  ideas, hints and tips of entrepreneurship by joining the virtual Upstarts Club™ groups on FaceBook and LinkedIn.  Alternatively you can find out more about the people behind the Upstarts Club™ on the PPG website.

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

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.”

18/11/2008 EB News Archive


18th November 2008: A ‘TASTER’ for the 2009 Entrepreneurs’ Bootcamp took place today at the i-Space at Marjon as part of National Enterprise Week events in Plymouth.

The 2007 Bootcamp was hailed as a great success due to the number of participants who went on to set up and grow their own businesses – and organisers plan to replicate this success with the 2nd Bootcamp in March 2009.

To give would-be entrepreneurs an idea of what they will face, a ‘taster’ session was help today at Marjon’s i-Space (one of the sponsors and home of the 2009 Bootcamp) when the five-day event was squeezed into just two hours!

According to Bootcamp co-designer Sue Windley, the taster featured ‘a little bit of everything that the 2007 bootcampers faced.  This taster aimed to give potential entrants the full flavour of what difference five days can make to the success of a business idea, and what they need to do to survive one of the most gruelling new business development programmes around’.

So several volunteers found themselves trying to figure out a triangular puzzle; build tall structures out of newspaper and work out how to save a business from disaster – all in just 2 hours!  Split into teams, the participants found out what it felt like to be put under pressure, with one commenting: “Although I knew it was only for fun, I couldn’t believe just how competitive it got, especially when our allotted time was counting down!”

The 2009 bootcampers will be selected by sponsors through competitions hosted by The Herald and Marjon in February, so the taster will also be the first chance for participants to find out what qualities the sponsors are looking for in them.

01/11/08 EB News Archive


1 November 2008: University College Marjon’s i-space innovation laboratory will be the host and HQ for the 2009 Entrepreneurs Bootcamp™.  The i-space is a unique venue filled with cutting edge technology that enables individuals and teams to be creative, innovative and find solutions by literally thinking outside the box.

The i-space combines a circular room with a mix of interactive white boards and writable surfaces around its entire wall with a colourful but relaxing room complete with adjustable mood lighting and music. The i-space has everything anyone would need for creating and capturing innovative solutions with multimedia networked laptops, high speed internet access, advanced sound system, digital cameras and video equipment, plus a data projector for viewing presentations or films anywhere in the room.

Sue Windley, co-designer of the Entrepreneurs Bootcamp™, said: “This is truly an amazing venue and when I first saw it, I knew it was the perfect place to become the creative hub and HQ for our would-be entrepreneurs in the 2009 Entrepreneurs Bootcamp™. You can’t help but be creative here, so I know it will give our new business ideas a huge boost to finding success.”

For further information and details about the i-space, visit i_space_website.

23/07/2008 EB News Archive


Article taken from Plymouth Herald Newspaper 23/7/08

Security Management South West Ltd has made it into the grand final of the national competition 2008 Security Excellence Awards. Known as the Oscars of the security world, the awards will take place on October 9 in Park Lane, London.

The firm has been chosen in the Security Guarding Company of the Year category – and bosses say they believe they have got what it takes to win.  Managing Director Ken York said: “We’re very proud of what we have achieved here, and to be recognised by the industry as being one of the best is just amazing news. I don’t see why we can’t go on and win it now!”

Magazines Security Management Today and Security Installer and website info4security are hosting the awards which are designed to raise the profile of the industry, while promoting and rewarding those companies achieving ‘the very highest standards and outstanding success’.

Ken continued: “These awards are great for our industry. The industry has had bad press over the years due to licensing laws and some rogue traders, but these awards prove there are some excellent security companies out there. We just hope we can go on and win in October.”

Ken was the “12th man” of the 2007 Entrepreneurs Bootcamp – designer Sue Windley explains: “Ken’s business ideas were brilliant but we didn’t have the 12th sponsor to support them, so although Ken was not able to attend the 5-Day Bootcamp, my own company Pragmatic Performance Management have been supporting him and his team during 2007 as the Bootcamp’s “12th man”! Getting into the finals for these awards is a remarkable achievement for this young and thriving business.”

To find out more about this remarkable business, visit their website SMSW_Ltd

11/07/2008 EB News Archive


Article written by Matt Fleming, Plymouth Herald Newspaper 11/7/08

Former Devonport High School for Boys student and now a Hollywood actor, Joey Ansah helped launch the publicity for a multi-purpose studio Bootcamp Graduate Nick Palfrey’s MooFu Ltd.  Joey, who played an assassin in Hollywood blockbuster The Bourne Ultimatum, wanted to put his face to the new facility, based at Plymouth’s Airport Business Centre.

Nick commented to the Plymouth Herald: “We make educational products, like films and resources for schools. We wanted to expand the business and make it multi-purpose, so we designed the new centre with video suites, a music studio – all sorts. It will open in early August, but we wanted Joey to put his face to it beforehand so we can tell people all about it and show it will have star quality.”

Joey’s stepbrother, Tom McCaren, is the commercial studio manager at MooFu, and he wanted him to help publicise the new multi-purpose centre. A fight scene with Joey in action was filmed last week in a city warehouse at the airport business centre.

MooFu was the result of Nick’s experience of going through the 2007 Entrepreneurs Bootcamp. He said “The concept behind MooFu had existed for a while and the Bootcamp’s support allowed my idea to become reality. I was introduced to successful business people and they convinced me that my idea was the perfect recipe to form a successful business.”