Chris Philp: Clearstone

Focus: Training of lorry drivers

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Chris Philp
: 29
Company: Clearstone

Inside six years Philp built grocery distribution company Blueheath into a £70m AIM-listed business – now he’s at it again. Having noticed how hard it was at Blueheath to find lorry drivers, Philp set up Clearstone with co-founder Sam Gyimah in 2003 to re-train unemployed or low-income individuals. More than 2,000 drivers will be trained this year and Clearstone now supplies seven of the top 10 logistics companies. Turnover for 2005 is £5m but Philp expects that to double next year and is also looking at a number of small acquisitions to further swell the company’s training offering.

2017 update:

Clearstone ran into financial difficulties in and went into administration in 2007. Philp founded Next Big Thing in 2009, a Dragons’ Den style initiative that aims to get young people from inner city backgrounds into the world of enterprise to help build their confidence and ambitions. Unfortunately, the company did not raise enough funds to continue operating and went into administration in December 2016. Alongside his entrepreneurial endeavours, Philp moved into politics in 2006, becoming a conservative councilor in the Gospel Oak ward of Camden. In 2015, he was elected as a conservative member of parliament for Croydon South and later elected to the treasury committee.

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