Speeding towards success: Wisbech motorsports lecturer’s business praised by Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis

Founder of Student Motorsport, John Paul Latham, and Theo Paphitis at the Small Business Sunday annu

Founder of Student Motorsport, John Paul Latham, and Theo Paphitis at the Small Business Sunday annual awards. PHOTO: John Paul Latham - Credit: Archant

A motorsport lecturer at the College of West Anglia has received a big boost after his business was recognised by star of the BBC’s Dragon’s Den, Theo Paphitis.

John Paul Latham, who taught motorsports students at the college’s Wisbech campus from 2009, had his business ‘Student Motorsport’ thrust into the limelight thanks to Paphitis’ online Small Business Sunday campaign.

Set up in 2010, the competition supports small businesses and asks them to tweet using the hashtag #SBS – while explaining what the business is about and what it offers.

John Paul’s tweet caught the multi-millionaire’s eye, and the local entrepreneur’s effort was one of six lucky tweets to get re-tweeted to over half-a-million of Theo’s followers.

The tweet also earned him an invitation to Small Business Sundays’ annual winners networking event at the ICC in Birmingham, where he met the Dragon’s Den star.

John Paul said: “It feels like since we exhibited with Tiger Racing at the Autosport International Show earlier in January my feet haven’t touched the ground.

“Things really have picked up pace and receiving this award has been a massive boost to me personally and is great recognition for my company.

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“It was an amazing experience. Thank you to the SBS team, Theo Paphitis, Kypros Kyprianou, Deborah Meaden all the sponsors including Ryman Stationery and of course to all those who have and are continuing to support me through my journey with my company.”

Student Motorsport is an online motorsport community for young people, students, educators, institutions, professionals and organisations. It acts as a hub for those involved in motorsport to share ideas, information and advice and community projects.

“I have a good understanding of what it is like trying to start and develop a career in the motorsport industry and I understand what support students and young people need in order to succeed in this challenging and demanding environment,” added John Paul.

“You’ll see that our website is always developing and we’re working hard to drive our community in which like-minded individuals can come together to share their motorsport experience, advice and information.

“I see the website as a ‘vehicle’ and ‘tool’ that together with our visitors and members we can develop to help them in many ways.”