Two Norfolk businessmen who started Stulee General and Industrial Cleaners in June 2006, have outperformed hundreds of entrepreneurs to be named the East’s top young business in this year’s HSBC Start-Up Stars Awards.
Stulee is one of 10 regional winners across the UK who will now come to London to convince the national judging panel they have what it takes to win the top prize of £30,000, courtesy of HSBC.
When Lee James and Stuart Ford couldn’t find anyone to clean their windows they decided the best solution was to start their own cleaning business. Within hours of distributing their first flyers they were taking calls from potential customers but the partners had taken on two full time employees, while still holding down full time jobs, before they were convinced that Stulee was a business with a real future.
Some 18 months later, the company cleans the windows of more than 500 houses, as well as keeping conservatories shining and gutters clear.
On top of that they hold in excess of 40 contracts for office and shop cleaning, not only in East Anglia, but throughout the whole of the UK.
This year they have also opened a retail outlet selling cleaning supplies and materials to both the domestic and trade market as well as supplying and fitting janitorial dispensers.
Over the last two and a half years the two entrepreneurs have grown the business from an idea to a successful company employing over 70 people.
Head of business banking for HSBC, Huw Morgan, said: "HSBC is committed to supporting businesses and the entrepreneurs who run them and have continued to help an average of 2600 start-ups every week in 2010 - that's 8% more than last year. We understand what it takes to set up a new venture and look forward to celebrating businesses who are vital to the growth of the British economy. We hope the success of Stulee in this year’s Awards will help it go from strength to strength, as well as prove to other budding entrepreneurs that business dreams really can be turned into reality."