Town’s 22-year-old waste disposal entrepreneur eyes his first million
- Credit: David Terry/BBC
A 22-year-old Ipswich waste disposal entrepreneur says he hopes to take his company’s turnover from half a million to a million pounds – just a few years after founding it.
Jake Slinn – who is due to appear on BBC1 Look East documentary series We are England at 7.30pm tonight (Wednesday, February 9) – discovered a business niche disposing of illegal, damaged or unsafe products arriving at ports and has never looked back.
He founded JS Global Group – based at Ransomes Europark – at the age of 19 and operates around UK ports as far afield as Grangemouth in Scotland solving the problem of how to deal with unwanted or sub-standard shipments. His latest challenge is finding a home for baled tyres in a shipment brought in via the Port of Felixstowe – where he spends a lot of his time inspecting cargos and freight earmarked for disposal.
He now employs his brother, Jez, 26, who operates out of Brighton, and his mum, Julie.
He comes from a line of waste operators. His grandad, Bert, worked in the industry, and his dad, Nigel, is commercial director at Ipswich recycling firm Sackers, where Jake learnt his trade.
The former Northgate High pupil – who has dyslexia and went on a day release course at Suffolk New College – left school aged 16 with two GCSEs under his belt.
During the programme, he embarks on what he calls his most daunting task yet – returning to his old college to inspire the next generation of young entrepreneurs.
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Jake admits he struggled with schoolwork – acting as the “class clown” – and couldn’t wait to get into the world of work. “Now, looking back it was probably the easiest part of my life,” he said. He started out on the waste team in an office job at Mid Suffolk-Babergh district council then joined Sackers for a few years before quitting to go it alone.
“I’ve always had an interest in waste and recycling,” he explained. He would constantly ask his dad questions about his job and the interest grew from there, he explained.
With just £400, he launched his business from his bedroom in his parents’ home. He built relationships. The company works through middlemen and doesn’t have its own site – at the moment, it only employs the three family members.
“We are a problem-solver,” he said. “We deal with difficult containers.”
They will video the container contents being removed and being recycled or destroyed, he said, to show that they have been disposed of correctly. The other half of the business involves buying up consignments that are no longer wanted and selling them on. Customers range from warehouses to shipping lines. So far, things have gone well, he said.
“It seems to be doing really well. Turnover is currently about half a million pounds and I’m aiming for the £1m mark this year – that’s the goal.”