Dr Stephen Fear is an English entrepreneur, businessman, philanthropist and author with over 40 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 at The British Library (position formerly held by the late Dame Anita Roddick) where he continues in his role as Ambassador. In July 2013, Fear was awarded an honorary degree from The University of The West of England, Bristol for his continued service to Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship.
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 or 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 multiple markets and sectors ranging from green technology, hotels, residential care and manufacturing, spanning the UK, Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.
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.
Fear combines a successful business career with his philanthropic interests. He 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 commitments elsewhere caused Fear to resign as Patron of Emmaus on April 25th 2016. In addition, Fear is a recognised author and regular contributor to a number of UK and international media including Business Matters (Cover Feature January 2014), The Huffington Post, Urban Times, is4profit, Barclays 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.
Fear is an experienced judge and has judged for The CBI/Lloyds Bank Awards (twice), which included present the award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Fear has also judged the London Loves Business / Talent and Excellence Awards alongside Tim Campbell, Karren Brady 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.
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.