An entrepreneur who set up a company to stop cowboy builders preying on the vulnerable is to share his secrets at the MADE Festival in Sheffield.
Kevin Byrne, founder of Checkatrade, established the firm after rogue traders descended on his home town of Selsey, West Sussex, after a tornado swept through causing £10m of destruction.
That was in 1998, today Checkatrade, the firm he built from scratch, turns over £13m, employs 220 and has more than 18,200 vetted trades people on its books.
MADE: The Entrepreneur Festival returns to Sheffield City Hall on Thursday October 22, featuring a wealth of top speakers including baby food and nutrition guru Annabel Karmel and Dave Coplin, chief envisioning officer of Microsoft UK, who will talk about the future of technology in business.
Kevin said: “Take risks, nine times out of 10 go with your gut feeling, you need passion to start a business, your business will mature, flourish and grow with your passion.
“As one of the speakers, I’m not just going to turn up for my slot and leave, I am there for the whole day, I see the MADE Entrepreneur Festival as a key to future growth of my company, I am excited and expectant.
“I’d encourage everyone in business or thinking of going into business to make sure it is in their diary. I hope to see many, many businesses from Sheffield and the wider area participating and working on developing their company.”
Checkatrade sponsors the National Weather on ITV’s Good Morning Britain and Cowboy Builders on Channel 5.
In 2012 Kevin was part of the judging panel for the Startup Awards, which recognise the UK’s most innovative and ambitious new businesses and entrepreneurs, with Duncan Bannatyne and the enterprise editor of The Daily Telegraph.
Kevin has participated in “Entrepreneurs”, the leading annual conference for successful and fast growth business owners, alongside former US President Bill Clinton who delivered the keynote speech.