Just Eat founder David Buttress served up some business insights at the final breakfast event of the M4 Business Network’s 2019 calendar.

Speaking to more than 160 Network members and guests at the Celtic Manor Resort, Cwmbran-born David revealed how his upbringing continues to shape his career to this day.

The Just Eat founder, and now venture capitalist, left no doubt in the guests’ minds about his entrepreneurial spirit.

The tech pioneer explained that at just 12 years old he decided to get a paper round to help his family with the costs of everyday life.

However, David soon realised that he could undercut the competition and achieve greater profits by setting up his own round and not charging for delivery.

Capitalising on the gap in the market, he was soon delivering newspapers to 250 local houses.

“Necessity is the mother of all invention”, David stated.

Illustrating that the journey to becoming a FTSE 250 Index business involves its fair share of challenges along the way, Buttress explained how a cash shortage in 2007 nearly saw Just Eat go bust, that the success of its first national TV advert resulted web traffic that crashed the website for two weeks, and why he was kicked out of the first takeaway he entered with the Just Eat pitch.

Discussing the future of Just Eat and the path ahead of restaurants and takeaways industries, David reflected that he “felt uncomfortable” with the wages that delivery drivers receive and would like companies like Just Eat, Uber Eats, and Amazon to work together to improve this.

Today, the company now operating in 13 countries and has more than 3,600 employees, but David’s latest venture is much closer to home, as the self-confessed rugby-fanatic became the chairman of the Dragons.

He explained his hopes to foster local talent on and off the field, stating that his greatest ambition is to provide financial support for start-ups and invest in the local community.

According to Buttress, Wales and specifically the Cwmbran area, is teeming with untapped talent.

This is a fact that would seem to be exemplified by the fact that David and GoCompare.com founder, Hayley Parsons, grew up on the same street as children.

The M4 Business Network is set to announce 2020 calendar and speaker details in the New Year.

Paul Byett, chairman of the network and managing partner of its main sponsor, UHY Hacker Young, said: “I’d like to thank David for joining us for our final meeting of the year to deliver one of the most intellectual, knowledgeable and focused talks I think we’ve had in some time. It’s only fitting that we close this year by hearing from a businessperson with such enduring links to Wales and our local community. David’s goals to invest in the Gwent community will be welcomed and supported by many of our group and we wish him and the club every success.”

Current sponsors of the club include UHY Hacker Young Chartered Accountants, the Development Bank of Wales, University of South Wales, Working Word, Barclays Business, Thomas Carroll, The Celtic Manor, Newport City Council, McAlister & Co Insolvency Practitioners, Rubin Lewis O’Brien, Johnsey Estates, and Gavel Auctioneers.

For more information about the M4 Business Network or to join call 01633 213318 or visit www.m4businessnetwork.org.