Sep 01 2016

Northumberland Entrepreneur Inspired by President Obama


Alex Hurst, managing director at Northumberland-based Phoenix Taxis, has taken inspiration from President Obama and Mark Zuckerberg as part of an entrepreneurship exchange initiative.

27-year-old Alex was the only entrepreneur selected from the UK to take part in the Young Transatlantic Innovation Learners Initiative (YTILI).

As part of the agenda he attended the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Silicon Valley, which was hosted by President Obama along with Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin.

Alex, who operates the largest electric and hybrid taxi firm in the UK, has trebled the company’s turnover from £1.6million to £4.2million in the four years he’s been at the helm. He said: “I was absolutely delighted to be nominated by the United States Embassy in London for inclusion in this initiative – it was an opportunity of a lifetime.


Alex Hurst

“As well as meeting a wide range of inspiring and high-profile figureheads and other young entrepreneurs, the ideas and knowledge I have gained are extraordinary. I’m excited to now take these ideas back to the North East of England to not only continue to growth of my business but to also develop a plan to help other businesses reach success.”

The initiative, took place during June and brought together 47 young entrepreneurs from 42 countries. Its aim was to help them understand and make the most of entrepreneurship and innovation and create opportunities for investment, partnership, and collaboration.

A spokesman from the initiative said: Alex was a pleasure to have on the programme as a representative of the UK. His professionalism and eagerness to be an active member were evident from the first day and his initiative has contributed to the scheme’s true success by creating connections among entrepreneurs and businesses in the United States and Europe.”

About the 2016 Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (YTILI)

An international exchange program focused on the themes of entrepreneurship skills and enhanced Euro-Atlantic integration designed for 47 young professionals from 42 European countries.

Fellows began their program in Washington, DC with discussions about entrepreneurship and innovation in the US including meetings hosted by Google and the US Department of State. Subsequently, they spent two weeks working at carefully-selected host institutions across the US.

About Phoenix Taxis

Established in 1990 Phoenix is a family-run business and is proud to operates a 220-strong fleet including 80 hybrid or EVs – 35 of which are electric) – making them the largest ‘green fleet’ in the UK.

In the three years since Alex became Managing Director, he has transformed this £1.6million LPG-powered business to a £3.8million company with environmental impact at the core of its business strategy.

Under Alex’s leadership, they were the first taxi firm in the UK to introduce the Nissan LEAF as an integral part of the fleet and are also the only taxi company in the North of England to have a Tesla S, a premium 100 per cent electric sports car, as a luxury addition to its executive range of cars.

The Nissan LEAF and Tesla S emit no carbon dioxide during journeys and have no negative impact on the environment whilst the car is in use. As a rapidly growing business, nearly trebling turnover and a dramatically increasing fleet size, Phoenix have halved their carbon footprint since 2010 (last checked 2014).

Visit the website at


Fun Mini Golf hire for your event - More Details