Entrepreneur from South Wootton wins ‘Dragon’s’ award

John Paul Latham receives his award from Theo Paphitis
John Paul Latham receives his award from Theo Paphitis

The founder of a website dedicated to helping people access information about the motorsport industry, John Paul Latham, of South Wootton, has won a coveted award from a former star of BBC’s Dragons’ Den.

John, known as JP, was chosen as winner of Theo Paphitis’s weekly competition called Small Business Sunday, where businesses are invited to write a Tweet about their enterprises on a Sunday. Theo selects the top six Tweets every Monday which he then re-Tweets and, has he has over 450,000 followers, this provides a huge boost to the businesses.

He is chairman of Ryman Stationery, is joint owner of Red Letter Days and has many other business interests.

On January 30 JP was chosen as one of the winners, the last weekly competition of the year, and was therefore invited to the annual awards ceremony held at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham this month, where he met Theo who presented him with his award.

Said JP, who is lecturer in motorsport for the College of West Anglia, working at both Lynn and Wisbech sites: “Receiving this award has been a massive boost to me personally and is great recognition for my company. The website is something which I intend to grow as a business in the future and the college has been very supportive of me.”

His business Student Motorsport has resulted from his personal experiences in the motorsport industry and his passion for helping people. He has created the website, www.studentmotorsport.com and an online community to help students and young people to step into the trade.

Its development has been a personal goal since his first full-time motorsport job in 2008, when he secured his first racing job in Formula Renault prior to graduating in motorsport that year. He was responsible for assembly, maintenance and support of two Formula Renault race cars.

He went on to gain further experience with other teams and started as a lecturer at the college in 2009.

He said: “I have a good understanding of what it is like trying to start and develop a career in the industry so I know what support students and young people need to succeed in this challenging and demanding environment.”