“I’m Charlie Mowat and I’m a control freak.” Those opening words launched a recent Leap 100 roundtable. But the founder of The Clean Space wasn’t alone. The room was full of entrepreneurs; each of whom struggle with the same problem. Success – while preferable to the alternative – brings its own challenges.
After Oxford University and a stint as a management consultant, Mowat started The Clean Space in 2003. The idea behind the business is a simple one: to challenge the negative behaviours prevalent in the cleaning industry, particularly the way some firms exploit and mistreat their cleaning staff. By 2013 his company was turning over £3.7m, was based in seven cities and had acquired six competitors. But he was stretched thin.