Ben graduated from the Scarborough campus of the Business School with a BA Sport and Leisure Management in 2007. He won the £10,000 prize for his Oomph (= Our Organisation Makes People Happy) Wellness business that offers exercise, dance and art therapy sessions for the elderly people in care homes. The main aim of Oomph is to help residents become enthusiastic about their lives, while at the same time improving their fitness and health in a safe, stimulating environment.
Since starting Oomph Wellness a little over 18 months ago, Ben Allen now helps over 7,500 people a month spread across 300 nursing, residential care homes and day care service centres across the country. He anticipates a 20% growth over the coming year for his unique and innovative holistic therapy for the elderly and people with disabilities.
The Business School encourages and helps students prepare for the world of work, and it continues to successfully help students, where possible, with a year of professional work experience placement (PEP) though the School’s professional World of Work office. Students can also complete a “starting a new business module”, and there is also encouragement for them to enter business competitions.
Eight business experts were on the independent judging panel for Shell LiveWIRE 2012, including Laura Wyatt-Smith from The Prince's Trust, former BBC Apprentice candidate Saira Khan and the 2011 Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year award winner and founder of KwickScreen, Michael Korn.
Ben said: “It was a great honour to win the Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. Not only was the prize money useful for my business, but networking with other great business people – something Hull university Business School has always encouraged – was such a great opportunity. My advice to my peer group is, if you have a good idea and you’re thinking about starting a business, I feel you should just go ahead and do it! You won’t make a living just thinking about it!”
“I’ve learnt so much already through the Shell LiveWIRE process and have had the opportunity to network with some brilliant business minds from across the UK. I feel incredibly lucky to be doing something I genuinely care about and would definitely encourage others to do the same.”
The award, launched in 1982, recognises innovative young business people who are in the process of turning an idea into a successful business and to date has awarded more than £5 million in grants.
For more information about Oomph Wellness, please visit www.theoomph.co.uk and for more information about the Hull University Business School please visit www.hull.ac.uk