Burnley businessman will battle it out with country's best
A TOP businessman from Burnley will battle it out against some of the best entrepreneurs in the country.
Ian Kelly, a former director of FH Brown, has won the Cleantech and Renewables Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2012 (Northern Region) at the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards.
He will now go through to the UK finals of the awards in September.
Ian, who grew up in Stoneyholme, is chief executive of Matrix Energy Management, the UK’s largest energy management company providing big name retailers such as Marks & Spencer, Tesco , Sainsburys and Boots with a monitoring service to reduce their energy bills.
He said: "You've got to think how much energy they burn on lighting and refrigerators.
"We monitor more than 30,000 sites from our data centre to help them reduce their energy costs.
“Its about switching things off and on, like in an office. It's nothing complex.
“We are operating in a new economy and they are doing it as they have got £100million to £200million energy bills.
“If we can reduce it by 10 per cent, thats big numbers.”
A former pupil at St Theodore's High School in Burnley, Ian got his big break at family-run IT and telecoms business FH Brown where he was a director.
The business was sold to a firm called Dudley, but after two years under Dudley’s management, he completed a management buy-out in 1999.
He eventually sold the business in 2001 and launched a similar organisation, Azzurri, which he sold in 2007.
In 2009 he founded Green Sky Energy which now trades as Matrix with a £60million turnover and 350 staff - 84 people were recruited last year - with plans to recruit a further 50 this year. He added: “I came up with the concept of the business after reading the energy market. I wanted to do something different. We got our first acquisition, we have gone on to acquire two more businesses and we are a growing organisation.
“I think the title entrepeneur is overused.
“It's not what you are called that's important, its what you do."
"The one thing we want to do is attract more young people to business.
“If we don't get the right people in we're going to stunt our growth."