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Oli Barrett, Founder – Co Sponsorship Agency

Oli Barrett founded Tenner, the UK’s largest schools enterprise challenge in which 40,000 pupils are given £10, and challenged to see what they can achieve. Having worked at Butlins, Disney World and Crimewatch, he dropped out of two universities before setting up his first business, an alternative careers fair, which grew to have teams in nine cities.

In London, he began running speed-networking events, which he has hosted around the world. His entrepreneurial efforts have ranged from socks on subscription to a language practice website (sold in 2008). In 2011, he co-founded StartUp Britain, the national campaign launched by the Prime Minister.

He has co-organised eleven trade missions to the US, India and Brazil and his agency, Cospa, works with brands and charities to create award-winning social impact campaigns. A recent example sees Wickes, the DIY chain, helping young people to fix their own youth clubs across over fifty locations. In 2013, he was awarded an MBE for services to business and entrepreneurship in the Queen’s Birthday honours.

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