Antony Chesworth Biography
At the age of just 21 years old Antony Chesworth, while in his bedroom, decided to start programming an ecommerce software solution that would let anyone setup their own easy to use online shop.
This ecommerce solution became EKM, the UK’s number one system and today it powers one out of every five online shops in the UK. The company Antony created, Ekm Systems Ltd, now employs over 85 members of staff in EKM’s famous £3.5m office in Preston, Lancashire, featuring a legendary three-storey slide.
Prior to starting EKM, Antony went to Lancaster University where he earned a living by designing websites for local businesses and working as a mobile DJ. He also ran a very successful programmers website called ‘The Programmers Vault’ which was later sold to United News & Media.
After programming in the first version of EKM, Antony tried without success to get customers on board. After several months of trying he found himself in a vicious circle whereby he needed customers to raise him money and he needed money to advertise and get customers.
The inevitable happened and before too long Antony had no choice but to claim the dole and run up a massive credit card debt in order to fund the company. During this time he even tried to seek investment and loans, unfortunately several banks and funding sources looked at the business and decided it was never going to work, thus no money was raised.
Antony persevered and through a mixture of cold calling and advertising he managed to get his first customer to sign up for EKM in October 2002. From there the snowball effect started, through word of mouth (the customers loved the system) and the availability of money to pump into marketing, and the company started to grow.
Since the first customer in 2002 EKM has helped over 80,000 businesses setup a successful online shop. These customers include several high street names such as Lotus Cars, ITV, PGA Golf, Chicco, Oxfam and many more.
EKM has very close working relationships with major brands such as PayPal, Sage, Facebook, Google and many others. The company and Antony have also won several business awards including Business of the Year and the prestigious Daily Mail’s Entrepreneur of the Year.
In November 2009 Antony, along with his wife Alison, decided to move from Burnley to Poulton-Le-Fylde and they have since started a family with three children Theia, Cara and Clark.
Antony remains a very active part of EKM, but enjoys spending his spare time travelling with his family and flying his plane. Antony holds a pilot’s license (PPL, Instrument Rated, Night Rating, 1,200 hours) and also a Day Skipper license.