Published: July 5, 2022 | Updated: July 6, 2022

Biz Bites: Jelte Liebrand, Paul Harrison, Steve Witt, Cas Paton, CWD Hair, Beauty & Education

Jelte Liebrand, Founder, savvy navvy, who is among four finalists from Dorset in the 2022 South West Great British Entrepreneur Awards.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Four named as finalists in the 2022 Great British Entrepreneur Awards

Four of Dorset’s top businessmen have been named as finalists in the 2022 South West Great British Entrepreneur Awards:

  • Jelte Liebrand, Founder of global marine technology company savvy navvy, is a finalist in the Scale-Up Entrepreneur of the Year category.
  • Steve Witt and Paul Harrison, Co-founders of Not Just Travel and The Travel Franchise, are also finalists in the Scale-Up Entrepreneur of the Year category.
  • Cas Paton, Founder and CEO of online marketplace OnBuy, is a finalist in the Disruptor of the Year category.

In total, more than than 5,000 applications from across the UK were received for this year’s awards with 71 named as South West finalists in 12 different categories.

Setting out to simplify boating technology, savvy navvy has gone from strength to strength since launching just five years ago.

It now has half a million users using the ‘Google maps for boats’ app in more than 100 countries around the world.

Jelte, who lives in Poole, said: “Being shortlisted in the ‘Scale-Up Entrepreneur of the Year’ category is a great boost for me and my team, as we work hard to fulfil our vision to get more people out on the water.

“As part of our continuous growth, we now support more than boaters – giving anyone on the water, whether it’s a paddleboarder, a kayaker, jet skier or someone in a 50ft yacht access to our platform.

“We’re definitely scaling up, having more than doubled in the past 12 months already.”

Launched in 2001 by co-founders Steve Witt and Paul Harrison, pictured, Not Just Travel is one of the UK’s largest travel consultancies while The Travel Franchise is the UK’s fastest-growing travel franchise.

Since the beginning of the year Not Just Travel has broken nearly all its sales records to date.

In January, holiday sales were up 300 per cent year-on-year and the team had its biggest day on record for the most passengers ever booked.

The Travel Franchise recorded a 200 per cent increase in new members joining in January compared to the same month in 2020.

In terms of franchise numbers, the company beats the likes of Burger King and Subway.

Steve said: “We are growing at our fastest pace ever.

“Not even when we were building our business from scratch were we employing people as fast as we are now.”

Founded in the UK in 2016 by Cas Paton, pictured left, OnBuy offers 36 million products in a wide range of categories including electricals, beauty, home and garden, toys, and baby supplies.

Twelve awards will be given out per region in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

The Grand Final is at the Grosvenor Hotel in London on November 21.


Proud owner Charlie celebrates his salon’s first anniversary

It was always Charlie Ward-Dobb’s dream to open his own salon.

In 2021 that dream became reality.

And now, just over 12 months later, CWD Hair, Beauty & Education in Westbourne has celebrated its first anniversary.

A delighted Charlie, pictured with some of his team, said: “We absolutely smashed our first year, exceeding targets in all areas of hair, beauty and aesthetics.

“That was after opening up at the end of all the lockdowns in the middle of a pandemic.

“After working for over 16 years in the industry, in other large superbrand salons and managing and educating salons across the south, I finally got to fulfill my dream of opening up my own salon.

“I have been super lucky to have the best team.

“I couldn’t have done it without them and my super lovely clients.

“We offer a wide range of services in the heart of Westbourne, just around the corner from M&S.

“We have also been nominated for multiple awards.

“To everyone, I would like to say a huge thank you.”

CWD Hair, Beauty & Education employs nine people including Charlie.