UWE Graduate named Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur

Issue date: 23 June 2005

Issue date: 23/06/05

UWE Graduate named Shell Live WIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2005

University of the West of England graduate James Murray Wells (aged 22) founder of http://www.glassesdirect.co.uk has won the prestigious title of Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2005 and £10,000 of prize money at a gala event hosted by Alun Michael MP, Minister for Industry and Shell UK Chairman, James Smith at Gibson Hall, Bishopsgate in London.

James’ achievement is phenomenal as he graduated from UWE this time last year and his business has had an amazing national impact in a very short time.

The awards mark the culmination of four months of strong competition across the UK. More than 600 entrants, all aged between 16 and 30 when applications closed, were whittled down through regional heats to the final 14.

James’ business has shaken up the spectacles market by providing high quality glasses, custom made to individual prescriptions, at prices from £15; undercutting high street prices by as much as £60 per pair. James decided to start his business after being horrified at the price he had to pay for his own glasses on the high street. He felt that customers must be given a better deal, and began to research his business idea.

Since launching the business last July, James has sold over 20,000 pairs of glasses, and has had over 2 million hits to the website. On collecting his award, James said;

“I am absolutely thrilled to have won the prestigious Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the face of strong competition from businesses across the UK.

“Not only will this Shell LiveWIRE award be an important endorsement for the business, but the planning, pitching, and networking at the heats has been extremely valuable.

“I would encourage other young people considering starting a business to explore their potential and to make use of services such as Shell LiveWIRE to help them make their dreams a reality.”


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