Apprentice fan launches personal shopping service to boost Islington businesses
- Credit: Archant
A young entrepreneur is hoping to boost businesses in Islington with a new delivery service.
Simon Wilson, of Upper Holloway, this week launched Dellvo.com, a personal shopping service that offers deliveries from local businesses, supermarkets and takeaways.
At 20, he says that he’s wanted to be an entrepreneur since the age of 11, when he started watching the hit BBC series The Apprentice with his mother.
“I always thought: why do the candidates struggle to do things properly – or why is it impossible for a team of six professionals to make a good profit on task?” he said. “Since then, I’ve always thought: I can do this. I also enjoyed and related to the way the candidates were outgoing, always on the move and creative.”
At the age of 12, Simon launches his first business – in the playground of Highbury Grove School.
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“I started to sell sweets from Tesco and Playstation demo games to other kids at school. Once, I made £40 in one day.”
At 16, Simon left school to start a chef apprenticeship before going on to work in several restaurants. Taking up an offer from his brother, he then went on to work for Lyoness, a company that provides small and medium-sized enterprises with loyalty solutions.
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“That’s when my passion for working with local businesses started,” he says.
Last year, he came up with the idea for Dellvo, and worked hard to get it started.
“There were many times when I’d had a long and really busy day, and all I wanted to do was to go home and relax. The last thing on my mind was to cook or go out shopping.”
At the same time, Deliveroo, the popular on-demand delivery service for high-quality restaurant meals, was starting to take off.
Seeing the Deliveroo delivery bikes “everywhere” was encouraging, but he still felt there was a gap in the market for delivery services from other businesses.
“Our aim is to work with any type of business that sells a product locally – from local convenience stores, to supermarkets, restaurants, repair shops, clothing and charity shops,” he explains.
To use the service you type in a location on the Dellvo website, choose a shop and place your order.
“The customer can then track the order in real time and can even contact the driver – like with the app Uber.”
Customers send a payment via a link to their phone, and he charges a minimum delivery fee of £3.29.
But what does his service have to offer to those who are less tech-savvy?
“We have a phone number on the site which they can use to tell us what they would like and from where. We also give pensioners a discounted delivery fee,” he says.
Simon is hoping to draw in a variety of other customers – primarily lazy or hungover students and residents with busy lives. Parents are also a target – “they might not want the hassle of shopping with kids.”
But why launch in Islington?
“It’s where I was born and raised, and I see it as a way to give back to the community. It is also very diverse in terms of the many communities that offer products from different countries.”
For now, only Simon and a handful of his friends are working on the business. He’s looking for people who would like to try out the service so that he can get feedback on how to develop the business.