Jonathan Straight

England, United Kingdom
My Fee Ranges
    Free - 5k to 10k

About Jonathan Straight

Creative Entrepreneur

EY Entrepreneur of the Year – National Winner.

Jonathan Straight is an inspirational speaker who leaves his audiences uplifted and motivated to succeed.

He is the founder of Straight plc, the UK’s leading supplier of waste and recycling container solutions. More than 50% of the homes in the UK have benefitted from one or more of his products.

The company was founded with nothing more than a desk and a telephone and grew to become a multi-million pound public company with a stock market listing and solid environmental credentials as a founder member of the Social Stock Exchange. Jonathan exited the business in an eight figure deal in 2014.

He is Enterprise Ambassador for Leeds University Business School and is actively involved in a number of start-ups, social enterprises and charities. A regular at Prince Andrew’s Pitch at the Palace, he has an ongoing interest in emerging technologies and innovative businesses.

Continuing with his passion for the environment, he has been a director of water saving NGO, Waterwise, for a number of years and is a trustee of the international food recycling movement The Real Junk Food Project. As a creative, he sits as a director of The Tetley, a young art gallery and learning centre in Yorkshire which specialises in early-career artists and is an accomplished and exhibited street photographer. He is also a trustee of creativity charity IVE.

Visually engaging, Jonathan is a speaker who will leave a lasting impact. He speaks about his remarkable career –  from start up to public company to exit – and can tell this story in a number of different ways with emphases tailored to the specific audience.

Well known for his waxed moustache, pony tail and collection of almost 400 pairs of eclectic spectacles, Jonathan also writes and presents programmes on history for local television. He is currently working on a book detailing his business experiences.

My Specialist Subjects

The 10 Commandments of Entrepreneurship

The story of building a multi-million pound company from scratch, against the odds floating on the Stock Market and then exiting in an eight-figure deal 21 years later. This remarkable and inspirational story, told in an entertaining yet serious manner, is peppered with the “commandments” - hints and tips on how to be successful in business, one’s career or profession. Appropriate to all audiences but of particular interest to those looking to start a business or running small businesses.

Confessions of a Spex Maniac

Jonathan Straight has become well known for his extensive collection of eclectic - and sometimes eccentric - spectacles. But these played an important role in developing his business. This talk is of particular interest to optometrists. He would be a dream client for any one of them.

How to Build a Brand

The Straight brand was one of the most important in the waste and recycling industry and was market-leader in a number of sectors. Jonathan Straight built the brand from nothing and then kept evolving it to meet the needs of the times as they changed. This is a fascinating story of building a business up and seeing it change over 21 years with its branding changing at the same time.


What do you do when you are growing a business and more importantly, what do you do when you leave it? Jonathan Straight talks about reinvention in a business, detailing the several phases of reinvention within his own business over 21 years, and then how he reinvented himself having left. He has achieved success as a photographer and as a TV presenter having had no skills in either field until relatively recently.

Business with principles

Do you have to be ruthless to succeed? Is success at the expense of moral behaviour? Can you build a great business without bending the rules? Jonathan Straight explains how he build a significant public company without compromising his ethical beliefs. As a founder member of the Social Stock Exchange, he explains how he started out wanting to change the world and exited proving that he had done just that.

Biblical Billionaires

This is a groundbreaking talk which has proved to be inspirational and motivating to those audiences who have heard it. This talk is not about Jonathan Straight but about characters in the Old Testament who achieved mind-blowing levels of wealth. Not a sermon or a religious presentation, Jonathan has conducted extensive research accessing thousands of texts from the past three millennia to explain how these people got their money and what important and relevant lessons we can learn from them. Will appeal to those in business, intending to start businesses, with ambitious career plans or in professions.

Practical Philanthropy

With success comes great responsibility. Jonathan speaks from the heart about giving and how this not only helps the recipient but the donor too. With extensive experience as a charity trustee, with his own charitable trust and a long history of supporting others with time and money, Jonathan hopes to be able to inspire others to follow his lead.


A really well told life story... Jonathan talked us through the experiences of being an entrepreneur, challenges he faced and opportunities he grasped. Right level of seriousness and humour. Highly rated.

I didn't really know what to expect but I found Jonathan's talk interesting, honest and delivered with a certain panache. Jonathan tells his story with whit humour and shows that you don't need to give up on ideals in order to succeed

Some wise words from a man who's been there.

A great speaker with a lot of interesting things to say.

Really interesting and engaging talk from Jonathan and a great inspiration to all entrepreneurs. Would highly recommend!

Jonathan’s talk on Biblical Billionaires was very good, and opened your eyes on how you can look at stories in an alternative way.

The Biblical Billionaires talk by Jonathan Straight was extremely informational and beneficial in both a personal and professional setting. Some key learns that I will take include being humble, involving keeping your head and learning from mistakes. Additionally, never give up and always be persistent.

Jonathan's talk was informative, enjoyable and thought provoking. His business knowledge far exceeds the majority of people I have spoken to and the way in which he is able to translate that knowledge into relatable, enjoyable topics is excellent. I will be implementing much of what Jonathan’s Biblical Billionaire’s talk will teach you.

Clients I've Worked For

  • AISH
  • Buy Yorkshire Conference
  • Chartered Institute of Marketing
  • Connect Gazelles
  • CoreCom Limited
  • Entrepreneurs' World
  • EY
  • Financial Pulse Limited
  • Funzing
  • Goldman Sachs 10,000
  • Grammar School at Leeds
  • IPSE- The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed
  • Institute of Fundraising
  • Leeds Chamber of Commerce
  • Leeds Arts University
  • Leeds International Festival
  • Leeds Trinity University
  • Leeds University Business School
  • London School of Economics
  • MADE Festival, Sheffield
  • Mosaic
  • Philanthropy Impact
  • Recycling & Waste Management Conference
  • School Speakers
  • SOS Group
  • The Hepworth
  • The Prince's Trust
  • The Yorkshire Mafia
  • Theo Eyewear
  • UKTI
  • Western Galilee College
  • Yorkshire Business Insider

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