A 21-YEAR-OLD who runs a successful vaping business has been named young entrepreneur of the year in an Oxfordshire competition.

Dan Greenall, of Yarnton, picked up the Haines Watts Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for establishing and developing his own company, Oxford Vapours Ltd.

After first buying a vaping franchise in 2012, Mr Greenall now has three of his own locations across the county and is looking ahead to further expansion in the future.

Mr Greenall said he was surprised to find he had won the award following a day in which all the competitors had to deliver Dragon’s Den style pitches to an expert panel.

He said: “I was surprised more than anything. When they called my name I just sat there wondering who else was called Dan.

“When I had come out of the interview process I thought that I had failed completely.”

The finalists all received a year of free mentoring with Haines Watts’ Partners and a ‘marketing mastermind day’ as part of their prize, along with cheques for £250 and free publicity. Mr Greenall won a cash prize of £1000.

Rodney Style, Oxford partner and chairman of the judges, said: “This year was the closest-fought final we’ve ever had and it was a tough decision to select just one winner, which is testament to the high standard of entries we had. Congratulations to all our finalists.”

Mr Greenall's first foray into the business world came in a Bournemouth secondary school at the age of 13 where he sold snacks, confectionary and drinks to his fellow students and turned over £12,000 in just three years.

After completing his AS Levels and deciding formal education was not for him, Mr Greenall enrolled on a Peter Jones entrepreneurship course, which led him to open up a stand in Templars Square with franchise, Vaper Trails of Oxford, in November 2012.

Within just four months, Mr Greenall and his dad Phillip Shulman opened up their own e-cigarette shop in Corn Street, Witney.

Oxford Vapours now has stores in London Road, Headington, and Stert Street, Abingdon, as well as the Witney shop, and Mr Shulman stepped down from his role in the company. The business also launched the world’s first vaping delivery service in the Cowley area.

Mr Greenall said that Oxford Vapours is much more than just a business to him, and that it is the moral side of the enterprise that now drives him.

He said: "I've had people coming back to me crying and saying 'thank you, you've stopped me from smoking'.

"The money really dropped off for me and I didn't want to grow it in terms of profits.

"It even stopped my dad smoking. That's why we set the business up."

Mr Greenall now plans to expand the business online and open up two more stores before selling Oxford Vapours or relinquishing some of his shares.

For more on Mr Greenall's business visit oxfordvapours.com.