Entrepreneurial Evening


On Thursday 10th March, a packed audience of Old Kingstonians, current and former parents, staff and pupils enjoyed an inspirational celebration of the spirit of enterprise that flourishes at the School with the KGS Friends Entrepreneurial Evening.

‘I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and had some interesting conversations. The main speakers were inspirational and the whole event was a resounding success.’ Former pupil

The event featured several OKs who have made their mark on the world, or are beginning to, in a variety of entrepreneurial pursuits, ranging from household names in the world of retail to a young inventor setting out with a new product to sell. Charities, property development, IT, health and well-being, pop-up restaurants and street food, bar ownership, petroleum products, PR and the music busines were all represented.

The evening began with a panel discussion featuring Peter Harris (OK 1973), co-founder of Hotel Chocolat, Sophie Cornish (OK 1983), co-founder of notonthehighstreet.com, Richard Dawes (OK 1993), whose PR company DawBell represents the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Gary Barlow and the BRIT Awards, and Alexander McLean (OK 2003), founder of the African Prisons Project. The discussion was chaired by writer and business consultant Jez Carwright (OK 1990).

After the formal part of the evening, the panellists were joined by a further five expert guests - Rachel Barnes (Staff 1998-2003), James Buchanan (OK 1995), Rob Dann (OK 2001), Pritesh Pankhania (OK 1987), Paul Short (OK 1995) and Martin St-Gallay (OK 1992) - to host a networking reception at which the audience, many of them in business themselves, enjoyed an opportunity to learn from their expertise and experience.

‘The evening was really informative, moving and inspiring. I run my own business but it's always good to challenge yourself and learn new things. I have already set up a meeting with one of the speakers, who may be able to provide some advice for my business.’ Current parent The occasion was a huge success and proved very popular with all those who were fortunate enough to be present. Head Master Stephen Lehec commented afterwards: ‘The School is very grateful to the remarkable entrepreneurial alumni who gave up their time to be with us this evening. The determination, drive and conviction that characterised the contributors made a tremendous impression on the audience, and the vital message to plan for success and to learn from and be stronger for mistakes was one all aspiring entrepreneurs at the evening could take away with them.’

Please click here to view further photographs from the event. 

Hayley Bray Photography (OK 1995)