The 26-year-old set up Leadstoyou Ltd in 2009, an innovative website designed to connect green fuel firms with families wanting to make their homes more energy efficient.
With 400 reputable eco-energy companies on his books, in 2011 alone he helped 40,000 people who were looking to install home insulation, wind turbines, solar panels, heat pumps, wood burners and replacement boilers.
But it was his early experience on the Company Programme – selling a device that warned you if it was raining outside – that gave him the confidence to know he could go into business for himself.
“I took part in Young Enterprise when I was 16 and my friend created a device that sounded an alarm in the house when it started raining,” he said.
“It was basically a box with a dish on top that filled with water and sent a signal via a circuit indoors.
“The idea was that if you had your washing outside or the roof of the car down you’d know to go outside and do something about it.”
Justin’s Young Enterprise company won the most innovative product award at the charity’s South East regional finals and helped cement his decision to study business at Portsmouth University.
Two years after working for a marketing company, Corpdata, in Devon, he set up Leadstoyou as a part-time concern before going full-time six months later. Justin’s father joined as a Director and they now employ three full-time employees.
“Some of the challenges were more familiar to me because I’d done the Company Programme – things like setting up a bank account, some of the marketing and just talking to customers.
“I had flashbacks of doing it at school albeit on a different scale and it makes it easier because you think ‘I did it at that age so there is no reason I can’t do it now’.
“If anyone is thinking of starting their own business then Young Enterprise is invaluable.
“It gives you that confidence and breadth of experience that will help you further down the line.
“Our mentor had also set up his own business so that was useful as I could talk to someone who’d done it.”