5th March: Kate Lester
Kates a multi award winning entrepreneur , founder and CEO of the fastest growing courier company in the UK, Diamond Logistics. Her passion is small business whether its start-ups, turnarounds or adding lots of revenue – inspiring people to take the plunge into self-employment and supporting them on their journey. She’s a passionate advocate of social and economic mobility believing that self-employment is empowering and creative – and encourages entrepreneurialism in both small businesses and corporate companies alike.
Starting her own business in 1992, aged 20, she has worked in many sectors of the transport and logistics industry, from a Surrey-based 24-hour haulage operation, through to same day courier, internet fulfilment and logistical software provision. A two site operation until the 2012 she then franchise piloted the franchise model, launched in 2013 and have grown to 25+ in under three years.
In 2015 Kate won the First Women Award for Entrepreneurship, following her 2013 award for Entrepreneur of the Year, and Diamond has won numerous awards including Business Excellence, Souths Most Ambitious Companies, Toast of Surrey, European Business Awards (UK Logistics Provider) and nominated for City AM’s Explosive Growth.
In 2016 Diamond has already won Best UK Courier Franchise and Kates just won the Ruban d’honneur in the European Business Awards, with Diamond taking National Champion.
She’s also a writer with two books to her name - Stop Reading Self Help Books and JFDI – with her long awaited The Manicured Fist – the manual for women in business - due out in 2016.
Diamond is a 3PL - partnering with businesses with one stop logistics solution incorporating same day, overnight, international and remote storage and fulfillment.