A YOUNG entrepreneur has turned his hand to a new business. Jamie Wilkin, 26, from Southend, started in business at 18 when he rented a shop in Nelson Road, Chalkwell, for £75 a week and sold sweets.

Jamie saw a gap in the market for a sweet shop in a location surrounded by schools and saved up £1,000 from his job working at Direct Line insurance and rented the shop for £75 a week.

He opened the Candy Shop and ran it for a year before selling it and buying Sunsets lapdancing club in Lucy Road. He then sold it and last week re-opened the Taste of Jamaica restaurant in Princes Street, Southend, after a refurbishment.

He said: “I thought the restaurant was a good idea and I took the same ideas and just refurbished it, new kitchen, tiles and decorated it really. It is predominantly a takeaway.

“My dad ran his own business, maybe it has rubbed off a little bit.”

Jamie said he would look for “driven” people when he was looking for staff.

He said: “When I employ someone I look at them, not really the qualifications. When I started, I didn’t really have many qualifications, so I would rather someone who was more money driven to be honest, rather than qualifications.

“I would say to people to get experience it is the best. When I finished school at 16,I started working for Direct Line straight away. I would say experience is better, anything to get on the ladder and get your hands dirty.

“If someone wants to start a business, I would say keep your outgoings as low as possible, as it it makes life easier to make money.”

Taste of Jamaica is open from 11am until 10pm weekdays and until 11pm on weekends.