Mike is a passionate Buckinghamshire entrepreneur. He was born and bred in Beaconsfield and is now a Deputy Lieutenant and Ambassador for Buckinghamshire, where he still lives with his wife Carol and family. Mike was educated at Davenies School, Chalfont's Community College and High Wycombe College (now BNU) before starting a career in the retail furniture industry, which ultimately led to him opening his own bed store at the age of 30.
Although a serial entrepreneur, Mike is probably best known as the founder of Dreams which he launched with one store in 1987 growing to over 200 superstores before Mike eventually sold most of his shares in 2008 and stepped down as Chairman and CEO.
Mike realised he wasn't quite ready for retirement in 2008 so he decided to pursue his love of unusual & iconic properties by turning a hobby into a business. Mike formed Clarenco LLP in 2009 and has now built up a considerable property portfolio of amazing & unique venues such as Towers, Castles, Forts and Monasteries (throughout Britain) now under the "AmaZing Venues" division. These properties are used as Wedding Venues and Event Venues for Parties, Corporate and Themed Events.
Clarenco has also invested in many pre-let commercial properties in Buckinghamshire as well as larger residential homes through Beaconsfield Executive Homes. Another division of Clarenco is Country Manor Estates which as the name suggests specialises in the development, for short and long term lets of substantial country houses.
By far the largest part of Clarenco is the AmaZing Venues portfolio with places such as Ackergill Tower in the Highlands of Scotland, Château Rhianfa in Wales and Stanbrook Abbey in Worcestershire. Solent Forts is a trio of incredible sea forts in the Solent, which are the ultimate venues for any celebration.
The Clare Foundation was created by Mike and Carol in 2009, to support and improve the efficiency of charities throughout the UK and help them become more commercial and entrepreneurial. Based in Saunderton, near High Wycombe, The Clare Foundation also acts as a hub for local charities by offering subsidised accommodation and shared resources.
Mike also supports many other philanthropical organisations including The Princes Trust, the Retail Trust, Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers, Bucks 4C, Bucks Community Foundation and Skidz.
More recently, through a joint collaboration with Bucks New University Mike helped launch the Clare Business School. This is an exciting new initiative enabling the Education and Business sectors to work together by bringing 'real live business' experience to students in Buckinghamshire.
Among all of this, Mike still finds time to help and mentor many local businesses and entrepreneurs and is often heard on the speaker circuit, lecturing and advising students and business men alike to help make their 'Dreams' come true.
As well as a Deputy Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, Mike is also a Freeman of the City of London, a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and a winner of numerous entrepreneurial awards. In 2009 Mike was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Bucks New University in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the field of commerce and entrepreneurship.