Join us for another episode of Ten minutes with… where we meet serial entrepreneur Simon Dolan.
Simon Dolan has a business portfolio that includes a variety of businesses from aviation, motor racing, public relations, recruitment, and lifestyle products. Simon’s first major business venture was SJD Accountancy. It was the only accounting firm in the UK top 100 owned by an individual rather than a partnership.
Simon gained his first entrepreneurial experience at the age of 13, buying and selling scratch cards in the school playground. He took an early morning paper round, before gaining a part-time job at his local market on the cheese and egg stall. There, the young entrepreneur learned that running your own business takes hard work and dedication, but that the rewards are there for the taking.
His inquisitive and questioning nature led to clashes with authority figures at school and Simon was asked to leave at the age of 16. There followed a period spent trying to break into the music business, before eventually joining a firm of accountants.
After leaving this role, Dolan spent several years trying out different jobs, until he found himself aged 23, unemployed and living off credit cards.
When the money and credit ran out, he was racking his brains for ways to make money and spent his last £10 placing an advert in the local newspaper offering to complete people’s end of year accounts. Three weeks passed before he received a call and SJD Accountancy was born.
After a move to London and the vast expansion of his business, SJD Accountancy was acquired in 2014 along with accounting practice Nixon Williams by Sovereign Capital for over £100m.
Simon began investing in new start-up companies via Twitter in 2010, initially offering a £5 million investment pot for successful business pitches on the social networking site, earning himself the nickname “Twitter Dragon”. Simon’s investments via Twitter have included Global Moguls, and mental health magazine Uncovered.
Away from the office, Simon Dolan is a former kickboxing titleholder and current motor racing champion with his team Jota Sport.