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3: WCL

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Former Ernst & Young management consultant Kieron White started his own business when he was just 29 years old. “It was youthful arrogance,” he says. “I thought I could do a better job myself.” Starting out with £15,000 of his savings and a laptop, White now employs 28 people at his London-based consultancy firm, WCL, and has signed up 20 clients, mainly in the public sector.

No doubt TV chef Jamie Oliver is a fan of the company: it was WCL who advised the Department for Education and Skills on how best to spend their £280m budget on improving school meals.

The company has grown an impressive 201 per cent over the past four years and turns over £6.2m. “My laptop is always on, even in the early hours,” says White. “It drives my wife mad.” His target? To hit the £10m mark by 2010.www.w-c-l.com

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