12. Climb Online

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Founders: Mark Wright
Founded: June 2014 (launched January 2015)
Website: www.climb-online.co.uk

Mark Wright laid claim to being the most successful winner of The Apprentice earlier this year after his digital marketing agency Climb Online hit £4m in turnover in its second year of trading – returning Lord Sugar’s £250,000 investment after just nine months.

The 2016 Young Gun started Startups Awards-nominated Climb Online in 2015 after encountering the same problems “over and over again” during his experience as a digital marketing specialist.

Having experienced failings in customer service, a lack of training and a “severe lack” of brand or company culture, Wright set out with a mission to create an agency that “small businesses would want to work with:

“An agency that staff members are proud to be working for, and […] an agency that would work hard to deliver an excellent ROI for all clients, no matter how big or small”.

This mission is one that brands have bought into. Three years after launching, Climb Online – which ranked at number 22 in the Startups 100 2016 – now works with more than 400 businesses including Be Wiser Insurance, Groupon, Company Check, Dickies and Imagine Cruising and boasts an 83% retention rate.

Climb Online is now in the process of creating the Climb academy, which helps entry level candidates build a successful career in digital marketing and is due to be rolled out in August 2017.

It will also launch its first international operations this year, with the opening of offices in South Africa, Australia and Dubai. And all this is just the start of plans to be the largest provider of digital marketing solutions for businesses in the UK by 2021…

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