Meet the Founder: Tom West, CEO of RentMy | RentMy Skip to main content Skip to footer

Meet the Founder: Tom West, CEO of RentMy

He owns a series of award-winning pubs in Essex and Suffolk, and in his 20s, created and developed a same-day home delivery network for convenience stores, years before Beelivery, Getir or Deliveroo. Meet Tom West, the Essex entrepreneur who is combining his passion for community and sustainability with his talent for innovation and start-ups by launching RentMy - an innovative platform that lets you “Airbnb” every single thing you own.


Tom West’s first taste of the world of business was as a child growing up in Essex.

His mum ran a shop selling dolls’ houses in Dedham, and Tom would use off-cuts of materials to build tiny accessories to sell ‘on the side’.

“It was the ultimate side hustle for a child,” said Tom. “I could see what customers wanted to buy, and realised I could create something useful from leftovers that were going to end up in the bin.

“It gave me a taste of what it was like to earn my own money, and a sense of drive that has never really left.”

A talented basketball player, after leaving school he moved to Durham to attend the sport’s prestigious national academy.

But he became seriously ill after getting glandular fever, losing four stone and spending three weeks in hospital aged 20.

It spelled the end of his basketball career dreams, and he returned home to Essex to recover.

When his mum and step-dad bought a bar in Ipswich, Tom got involved in the business and discovered he had an instinct for how to make it successful.

“I really enjoyed generating ideas and coming up with a brand that I felt would work,” he said. “Again, it was about knowing what people wanted and then making that happen.

“I’ve been through a lot in life and business so the fear of failure isn’t my main motivator, I’ve seen the worst happen and fought through it. That drive translates to a love for making things successful, I really enjoy the feeling of it all coming together – so then it becomes a challenge to overcome any obstacles and be creative with new ideas.”

This same business nous came into play when he visited friends in the west coast of the US, and took an interest in one of the parent’s companies which specialised in reverse logistics – a type of supply chain management that moves goods from retailers back to the wholesaler or manufacturer.

People in business were listening to his ideas, and Tom got a taste for the excitement and opportunities that entrepreneurship could bring.

Back in the UK and working in the family business, he branched out building a convenience store in the ground floor of a local office block.

Then 2008 credit crunch hit, and a third of those customers dropped off as redundancies hit, but Tom was determined to make it work.

This was when he built an express grocery delivery website– years before it became a retail trend. Eventually selling the idea to Booker Cash and Carry.

Tom was also a lobbyist for the Association of Convenience Stores, working with MPs, independent retailers and big business to develop solutions for the independent retail sector.

In recent years, he used his previous experience in hospitality to create, Jolly Good Pubs, which runs the award-winning Red Lion pub in Manningtree, Essex, as well as three other sites on the Essex and Suffolk borders, focused on bringing pubs back to the heart of the community.

As well as his background in business, Tom is hugely passionate about local community issues and championing the sharing economy - empowering people to use existing resources and reduce waste.

All of which led him to start RentMy - an innovative platform that lets you “Airbnb” every single thing you own, which is launching in Suffolk and Essex before being rolled out nationally.

The RentMy platform allows people to rent out their assets and make money from the things they own, making often idle or hardly used items profitable while others benefit from using them.

People will be able to pocket cash for lending out items such as paddle boards, kayaks, baking items and gardening equipment.

Tom said: “Sharing is good for people and planet, reducing expenditure, broadening access to resources, and reweaving the social fabric of community.

“In fact, we need sharing more now than ever as climate change, unprecedented wealth inequality and social division shake the foundations of our civilisation. 

“Our aim with RentMy is to play an intrinsic part in the growth of a sharing economy which can contribute to a fair and sustainable global transition, bringing communities together while reducing carbon emissions.”


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