Wednesday, August 7, 2013

News: Entrepreneurs on board at U-Explore

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Rotherham education specialist, U-Explore, has welcomed its new owners as it continues with its ambition of becoming the leading guidance services option for schools.

U-Explore specialises in enabling schools to deliver reality based careers information, advice and guidance. Its U-Explore national school product is an innovative software solution which engages with young people through cutting edge media.

Entrepreneur Matthew Riley, of the business communications specialist, Daisy Group, purchased the company out of administration in June with two partners, Steve Smith and David McGlennon, who both become non-executive directors.

Begbies Traynor was appointed as administrators after U-Explore began experiencing difficulties when the Government changed the statutory duty for career guidance from local authorities to individual schools, with funding withdrawn in September 2012.

Founder of the company, Andy Pickles will stay on as CEO. He said: "The acquisition comes at a fantastic time for U-Explore to enable us to grow the company and deliver a comprehensive service for schools and colleges with the combination of an excellent online system and our expertise in sourcing fantastic guidance professionals tailored to an individual school's needs.

"To achieve our ambition of becoming the leading guidance services option for schools, there could be no better time to have the level of expertise we now have around our board table."

Riley (pictured), who has taken on the role of chairman of U-Explore, was the winner of the Ernst & Young UK Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2007, and named the inaugural winner of the Entrepreneur Challenge, securing a £5m interest-free loan from Bank of Scotland and mentoring from Sir Philip Green in the same year.

He said: "When entering a new market, it is imperative that you are able to ascertain the need. In the UK, young people are too often leaving school unprepared for the wealth of opportunities that lie ahead of them, and as the CEO of a business that employs over 1400 people nationwide, I am passionate about ensuring that businesses support education to improve the employability and awareness of our future workforce.

"We are looking forward to establishing U-Explore as the leader in this space and together tackling the challenges faced by young people in progressing from education to employment."

U-Explore website

Images: U-Explore

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