Shaper: Kate Lester

Show aired on 5th March 2016


Kate Lester is a multi-award winning entrepreneur, and Founder and CEO of the fastest growing courier company in the UK, Diamond Logistics. She has a passion for small business, inspiring people to take the plunge into self-employment and supporting them on their journey. Kate is a passionate advocate of social and economic mobility, believing that self-employment is empowering and creative – and encourages entrepreneurialism in both small businesses and corporate companies alike.

Starting her own business in 1992 at the age of 20, Kate has worked in many sectors of the transport and logistics industry, from a Surrey-based 24-hour haulage operation, through to same-day courier, internet fulfilment and logistical software provision. In 2015, Kate won the First Women Award for Entrepreneurship, preceded by her 2013 award for Entrepreneur of the Year. Diamond Logistics has won numerous awards including Business Excellence, European Business Awards (UK Logistics Provider) and was nominated for City AM’s Explosive Growth Company of the Year. In 2016 Diamond has already won Best UK Courier Franchise and Kates just won the Ruban d’honneur in the European Business Awards, with Diamond taking National Champion.

Also a writer, Kate has two books to her name: ‘Stop Reading Self Help Books’ and ‘JFDI’. Her long awaited ‘The Manicured Fist’ – the manual for women in business – is due out in 2016.

Follow Kate on Twitter @courier_uk.

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“…when they failed to turn up with yet another wage roll I just approached their largest client and said: ‘will you work with me direct?'”

“I think you can be the purveyor of your own destiny”

“It seemed ridiculous working for the man for a relatively low return when you can earn it yourself and have a better standard of living.”

“I actually conceived my daughter and the business in the same week.”

“I think, particularly for women in business, there is a real challenge finding a sufficiently supportive partner”

“Diamond is pretty vegemite in terms of its culture – you either love it or you hate it.”

“…there is a power in me which is bigger than my desire to procrastinate.”

“What we do is fun, it’s fun making things happen, it’s fun helping people build their businesses.”

“There are days when you wonder who left the gate open on the idiot farm.”

“The business plan is not complicated. Business is not complicated, Anybody who thinks it’s complicated is making a mountain out of it.”