Lawrence Jones awarded honorary business doctorate

Article date: Thu, 21 Jul 2016 10:53 GMT

UKFast founders Lawrence and Gail Jones

Digital entrepreneur Lawrence Jones MBE was yesterday awarded with an honorary doctorate by The Manchester Metropolitan University, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the North West economy.

Jones joins a select group of individuals to receive the Honorary Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). The University praised the entrepreneur for his tireless work in support of the UK’s digital economy and for displaying ‘world-class innovation and leadership’.

Jones said: "Whilst my formal education stopped when I was a teenager and I famously banked U grades at A-level, I have been a student of business for more than 30 years, so some would say it’s about time I graduated! I’ve learned an extraordinary amount of lessons along the way which, collectively, make for a real wealth of business knowledge.

“This hands-on learning journey has taken me all over the world and has led me to meet some amazing people. The journey doesn’t end here though. I’ve still got a long way to go and I want to keep on learning and developing. To continue to grow you have to keep being interested and keep absorbing information.  

“It’s inspiring for me to be honoured by a great institution like MMU. I’ve been working towards getting more involved with the university so I can help inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and young professionals.”

Jones, who was last year awarded an MBE for services to the digital economy, built cloud computing and web hosting firm UKFast alongside his wife Gail, from a two-person bedroom business to a £250 million-valued company employing nearly 300 people.

He continued: “It’s encouraging that the university is so intertwined with businesses in the city. It can only be good news for the students that MMU is looking to build relationships with businesses like UKFast.”

Professor Karen Moore, Registrar of Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “We’re incredibly pleased to award an honorary degree to Lawrence Jones to recognise his fantastic work at the helm of UKFast, a leading hosting company.

“As chief executive, Lawrence has built UKFast into an instantly recognisable Manchester company through his digital expertise, entrepreneurial talent and business acumen, all attributes we encourage in our students.”

Jones has gained a reputation for ‘doing things differently’ and attributes much of his business success to keeping his team motivated. He is known for offering unconventional perks such as a yoga teacher, an on-site gym, trips to Chester Zoo and team building trips to Wales and Switzerland.

Previous recipients of the business honour include Sir Howard Bernstein, Sir Alex Ferguson, Chairman of Warburton’s bakers Jonathan Warburton and Bruntwood CEO Chris Oglesby.  

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