Jonathan left school on Hayling Island in 1978 and went to work for Nat West bank in Emsworth. It was while working there that he grew his appetite for being in business rather than assisting clients who were themselves in business. In 1981 he joined the family engineering business, Elstead Forge to gain general business experience and studied a business diploma at Portsdown College.
Nine years later he conducted a management buyout, changing the name to Elstead Lighting Ltd and focussing almost solely on decorative lighting. During the next decade the business employed more than 85 staff and supplied national chains. However, come the early 2000’s, most multiple retailers went purchasing directly in China closing that route to market off. The business struggled for 5 years but has since been revolutionised by a completely new strategy.
Today the business employs over 100 staff in the UK and Poland and has quadrupled turnover in 5 years, selling to more than 50 countries worldwide. Entrepreneurship has been at the core of this strategy and this was recognised at the 2017 Biz Awards when Jonathan was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year.
In 2011 Jonathan became Vice President of the trade body, The Lighting Association and in 2012 became President, a post he held for over two years, longer than any previous serving President