Phillip Miller MBE invests £100,000 in search of new business ideas in Essex

PUBLISHED: 12:57 18 March 2011 | UPDATED: 19:01 20 February 2013

Phillip Miller MBE invests £100,000 in search of new business ideas in Essex

Phillip Miller MBE invests £100,000 in search of new business ideas in Essex

Southend businessman, Philip Miller MBE, has put £100,000 of his own money up in search of the best new business ideas from Essex entrepreneurs...

Innovation and inspiration are key for any business looking to grow in tough economic times and few businessmen have these qualities in more abundance than Essex entrepreneur Philip Miller MBE. Owner of The Adventure Island and Sea-Life Adventure based in Southend, Philip recently launched a new competition to find the brightest business ideas of the future with 100,000 available to the winner.
Who Wants to be a Miller on Air? invited bright sparks looking for a big future in business to submit a 100-word summary of their idea online. The winning idea will be selected for its originality and business potential, and receive 100,000 to invest in the business courtesy of Philip.
Essex people are the most enterprising in Britain and Ive got 100,000 to invest in a new, exciting business idea, explains Philip. We are in tough financial times and all need to work hard together. You cant just rely on the Government to get the economy back on track. I truly believe Essex has the most entrepreneurial spirit in the UK and that is why I am putting my money where my mouth is.
Entries have been received from men and woman across Essex as well as further afield. The youngest entrants were 14-year-olds Sam and Poppy Strike from Southend with a new version of Cornwalls Camel Cycle Trail for Southend seafront.
The oldest person to throw her hat in the ring was 80-year-old Liz Sullivan from Southend who wants to tour
the world in Victorian clothing promoting a book about her childhood and family. Other entries included ingenious inventions such
as the Bog Bung and the Cookie Calendar alongside websites, apps, clothing, leisure venues, restaurants, dog biscuits and boots for horses.
Philip, along with his panel of trusted business experts, will now examine all the entries before selecting the nine best proposals and inviting the people behind those ideas to come and pitch to him personally. The 100,000 winning idea will be announced on Friday, March 11 on Southend Radio 105.1 and Chelmsford Radio 107.7, and you
can watch the filmed interviews on

Meet the Panel

Philip Miller MBE
Philip Miller was born, raised and still lives in Southend on Sea. He began his working life on the side show games at the Kursaal and by his 20s he had sold his first rollercoaster and revealed the true entrepreneur within. His uncompromising standards and vision have helped forge some of the most successful leisure attractions in the UK and Philip is now the executive chairman and owner of the Stockvale Group of companies.

Maxine Bean
Maxine Bean started her career in Lloyds Bank as a junior clerk, progressing quickly to assistant manager. She left after 13 years when pregnant and stayed at home to bring up her daughter but meanwhile attended night classes and took her accountancy exams. After working her way up to become the financial director of a pharmaceutical company, she is now finance director for all of Philip Millers companies.

Bill Gould
Bill Gould qualified as a chartered accountant in 1980 and was appointed a partner at Rickard Keen in 1985. As a general practitioner he is exposed to a variety of businesses in his day to day work and regularly advises clients on suitable acquisition targets having carefully assessed their worth and potential.

Joe Harrington
A family man with two grown-up daughters, Joe Harrington joined Barclays Bank on leaving school aged 18 and spent the next 37 years with them starting in Chelmsford and culminating with running the Southend/South East Essex Business Centre for ten years.

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