Joseph Valente, now 26 years of age, has come a long way from being someone else's apprentice. From founding his own business to winning The BBC Apprentice in 2015 and entering into a business partnership with Lord Sugar, Joseph's philosophy in all of his endeavours is always to create, maintain and grow. You can't wait for opportunities - you have to create them!
Joseph created his very own opportunity at the age of 16, securing an apprenticeship with a local plumbing company by offering to work for them for free in order to acquire and hone his skills on the job. He knocked on the door of his next opportunity when he took out a loan, went back to college, and qualified as a gas engineer. At the age of 22, Joseph set up ImpraGas
, and he spent the company's early years working alongside local estate agents and building up fantastic business relationships by carrying out the maintenance work on all of their managed properties. The business grew from just Joseph and his van to a team 7 engineers, a fleet of vans, and a fully-staffed office. Joseph wasn't going to stop there, though - having been inspired by reading Lord Sugar's autobiography, he decided that he was going to seize another opportunity by applying for the 2015 series of The BBC Apprentice. He managed to beat over 60,000 other applicants and made it onto the BBC show.
Going on the show was a massive risk for Joseph and his business, as he knew he couldn't have any contact with anyone in or out of work for 2 whole months. However, he believed in himself enough to know that he could win, and win he did! Not only did Joseph win a £250,000 investment for his business, he also won the right to call Lord Sugar his business partner and mentor, giving him access to a wealth of knowledge and support. ImpraGas has now expanded to 15 employees and has built a solid foundation in new, larger offices. Joseph is now ready to take the business nationwide by expanding his workforce of engineers, and he is very excited for what the future holds.
Joseph is passionate about the heating and plumbing industry, and he has set up connections with local schools to bring on apprentices, providing them with the support they need in a work-based environment. Joseph believes that anyone can make a success of becoming a plumber or heating engineer if they are prepared to work hard, persevere, look for those opportunities, and keep building towards their goals.
Looking to the future, Joseph is focused on developing not only his business but also his Installer Elite
network. Installer Elite is the UK's largest independent installer network, offering your company an association with a nationally-recognised brand of engineers, manufacturers, product designers, main contractors, and other associated business services. This organisation gives you all of the benefits that larger companies in this industry benefit from while also allowing smaller organisations to unite under one banner to become one voice.