When you think of two industries that go hand-in-hand, construction and creative probably wouldn’t spring to mind. But social media and tech devotee, Lee Wilcox, has married the two with outstanding success.
Boasting over 1.7 million follows on social media, his company, On the Tools, has become the world’s largest online construction community and has intentions to become the household name in the trade.
Lee secured both the ‘Creative Industries’ and top gongs for the Midlands at the Awards ceremony in November.
We had a chat with Lee to find out what claiming the awards means to him, and to discover more about his pathway to entrepreneurial success.
First ‘Creative Industries’, then the overall award. How did that feel?
Shocked I guess! It was a shock to win the ‘Creative Industries’ award; it was only when the presenter announced that the overall winner had gone from six to 21 staff this year that we realised it was us. It was just brilliant. We had a big table together and there was a lot of noise going on – it was fantastic.
A huge part of the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards is the entrepreneur’s story, as you well know. How important is that?
I think it’s massively important. Even when you consider the biggest brands in the world, at some point during their journey, the significance of their story would have been greater than what the balance sheet reveals. So, I think it’s amazing that there’s an awards that pulls that journey out to showcase the hard work that goes into entrepreneurialism in the UK.
Obviously, start-ups can be profitable and I feel we’ve achieved that, but I think that it’s important to remember that even if a business isn’t hugely profitable when it starts out and its balance sheet doesn’t look great, the business still can and will be a success. I think that’s what’s great about the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards.
Where did your love of technology come from?
The Mega Drive game called Altered Beast! When I was little, I used to go down to London to see my family and one year my uncle brought the brand-new Sega Mega Drive to our house. We spent about eight hours playing two games – Altered Beast and Sonic the Hedgehog. I remember just being fascinated by it, and that got me into gaming and technology and it grew from there really.
To see the full interview, head to the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards website.