Born in Denbigh, North Wales, Jones struggled in school. His passion, instead, lay in sport and music – and in making money selling sweets and snacks to his fellow pupils.
At the age of just 7, Lawrence moved to Durham Chorister School on a funded scholarship. The years spent at the prestigious school opened his eyes to a world beyond the Welsh mountains and nurtured his passion for music.
It is no surprise then that at the age of 16, with a backpack and £10 in his pocket, Lawrence moved to Manchester, setting up his first business venture: the Music Design Company (MDC). From playing piano in the old Odeon cinema in the city centre, MDC went on to become the city’s premier entertainment and event organising business, with more than 24 musicians on its books.
Selling MDC to Granada in the late nineties, Lawrence was soon looking for his next venture. In New York City, Jones was introduced to the internet. Back in the UK, few people were engaging with the online world, pushing Jones to get ahead of the curve. It was in setting up a website for a business idea that UKFast was born. The poor service level he received from providers at the time led him to create a new hosting provider centred on customer service excellence.
Twenty years later, UKFast turns over more than £54m, harnessing the recurring revenue model of Jones’ first business. UKFast now provides cloud, dedicated hosting, colocation and cybersecurity solutions to some of the world’s biggest brands, most exciting startups, and public sector and government organisations.
Lawrence's business portfolio also includes more than 15 businesses, including the famous Farient Hotel in Verbier, building firm UKFast Space, cybersecurity firm Secarma, head-hunters MySort and newly incorporated Sonishi Travel. He and UKFast co-founder Gail Jones launched teh UKFast Community and Education Trust in 2019, dedicating £5 million to underprivileged young people in the community.
Among numerous awards and accolades, in 2015 he was awarded an MBE for Services to the Digital Economy. In 2016 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) degree by Manchester Metropolitan University.
The commonality between his extensive, diverse portfolio is simple: great people and great service. Lawrence is a huge believer in the power of the mind and champions the value of goal-setting, mindset and belief.
Now, alongside his growing business portfolio, Lawrence dedicates time to mentoring startups, sportstars and budding business leaders, and sharing his learnings through his blog, social media and the Mind Your Own Business Podcast."