Stephen Fear is a British entrepreneur, businessman, philanthropist and author with 50 years international business experience.
Today Fear has an established property empire and interests in a number of industries, including green technology, hotels, residential care and manufacturing.
Often referred to as ‘The Phonebox Millionaire’, Fear is also notable for having been Entrepreneur in Residence and Ambassador at the British Library from 2012 – 2016, a position formerly held by the late Dame Anita Roddick, founder of Body Shop.
Bristol-born Fear first went into business at the age 15 after reading an article in the Financial Times that would affect the way industrial ovens were cleaned. He used a red phone-box on the council estate where he grew up and persuaded an American firm to send him its product for him to sell in the UK. Before he knew it, he was trading with a number of large industrial companies under the brand ‘Easy Clean’. Four years later, Fear sold his first business for £100,000 and invested the money in property.
Now he is Chairman and Founder of Fear Group, an international organisation he runs with his son, Leon Fear. Fear Group has interests in strategic land promotion, international property development and investment.
On 24th July 2013, during a ceremony at Bristol Cathedral, Fear was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from the University of the West of England for his continued services to entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship over the past 40 years. Recently, Fear received a lifetime achievement award presented by The Bristol Post and was a member of the Bristol Education and Skills Commission.
Fear combines a successful business career with his philanthropic interests. He is a Patron of Lucy Air Ambulance for Children. They are a registered charity that is dedicated to delivering air transfers for seriously ill babies and children in the UK. They provide elective (planned) medical air transport between local hospitals and specialist critical care units. The service is provided at no cost to the families of the children involved.
Fear is a former patron of Heropreneurs, which supports and advises Armed Services personnel and their spouses who want to set up their own businesses after leaving the armed forces and In October 2014 Fear was announced as Patron of the charity Emmaus – a charity aiming to alleviate homelessness which now has 24 homes through the UK where men and women who have become homeless can find, not only refuge, but a job and a sense of community. HRH The Duchess of Cornwall is Royal Patron of Emmaus UK and former Archbishop of Canterbury envoy Terry Waite is President. Extensive business commitments caused Fear to resign as Patron of Emmaus in April 2016.
In addition, Fear is a recognised author and regular contributor to a number of UK and international media including Business Matters, a monthly column in the Bristol Post’s Business section, The Huffington Post, Urban Times, is4profit, Barclays Bank, Lloyds Bank and London Loves Business.
Fear is regularly featured by the national media including the Financial Times, The Independent, The Daily Express, Sunday Times and Daily Mail commenting on a range of business, social and political issues. In March 2015 Fear was a guest on the BBC Radio 5 Live with Stephen Nolan and Peter Tatchell discussing the 2015 General Election and featured in a full-page interview published on the Money page of the Financial Times (14th March 2015) in the hugely popular “My First Million” series. He has also been the subject of several major features including the front cover of New Business and Talk Business as well as Business Matters and the British Bankers Association (known as the BBA) Summer 2012 edition of their in-house magazine Balance.
Fear is an experienced judge and has judged for The CBI/Lloyds Bank Awards (twice), which included presenting the award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Fear has also judged the London Loves Business / Talent and Excellence Awards alongside Baroness Brady CBE, London’s Pimlico Plumbers founder Charlie Mullins OBE and Chief Executive of International Airlines Group, Willie Walsh. Other judging responsibilities have included The Good Web Guide 2015, a variety of Children’s Literary competitions, The Amazon Growing Business Awards 2016, and will include the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2017, 2018 & 2019.
Fear frequently speaks at corporate events, exhibitions and dinners, which has included talks at the British Library the Victoria and Albert Museum, London Olympia, and the ExCel, London. In November 2012, Fear spoke at an inaugural talk for Heropreneurs in central London with General Sir David Richards head of the Combined British Armed Forces. In 2013, Fear also took part in a panel debate as part of Prime’s Enterprise for Over 50s with Esther Rantzen. In December 2014 Stephen gave a keynote speech in association with South West Housing Initiative Ltd. (SWHI) at the meeting of its All Party Parliamentary Group at The House of Commons.