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Our first Masterclass of 2019 was hosted by one of Yorkshire’s most successful and interesting entrepreneurs, Lawrence Tomlinson of LNT at the LNT offices and Ginetta car factory in Garforth. It was supper at 6pm followed by a Q&A session and then a tour of the car factory.

What is your driving motivation

Lawrence started importing speed boats as revenge against his former employer. When he was 23 he bought his father’s care home for £550k and his first aim was to make £1m, then £10m. Now his goals are to keep his 1500+ employees secure, to have fun and to allow his employees to do the best they can.

His education as an engineer was important. The practical skills and knowledge has been invaluable. Every day is a school day – you are always learning.

How do you divide your time

The are five businesses, Care Homes, LNT Construction, LNT Software, LNT Solutions and Ginetta. Ginetta is a business not a hobby. He deals with issues that need his attention; now he has stopped working as the Entrepreneur in Residence for HMG he has taken back day to day operational control of LNT Construction.

What is your most important talent/attribute

Determination to succeed. Engineering and understanding the process of things. Ability to communicate what you want. Entrepreneurs are at least in part bred – it’s a skill set, more than born.

He never felt like giving up. He is determined to ensure all is going well and, if not, to sort it out.

Risk

He is pretty risk averse, quite cautious taking calculated risks. His advice is to always have something in reserve and always to have some cash in the bank.

RBS

He got involved in RBS because David Cameron asked him to. Natwest were his bankers at the time and still are. The criminal activities of a few “killed off” many businesses.

His remit as Entrepreneur in Residence for HMG was to get growth back into the economy; he worked with Vince Cable, Matthew Hancock and a variety of other ministers.

 

Nick Butler

21/01/19