JCB, which started out as a one-man business nearly 70 years ago, has played host to potential entrepreneurs at an event encouraging them to start their own digger driving firms.
The company, which has factories in Cheadle, Uttoxeter and Foston, welcomed scores of people from all over the UK to its World HQ at Rocester for the 'Be Your Own Boss' seminar.
JCB Backhoe Loader Business Growth Managing Director Yvette Henshall-Bell said: "Many of JCB's customers started their business with just one backhoe loader and today run very successful businesses with hundreds of JCB machines.
"The Be Your Own Boss event is the start of a journey to encourage people to be the entrepreneurs of the future."
Delegates spent the day talking to experts from the world of banking, accountancy, finance, law and taxation to guide them through the potential pitfalls of setting up their own business.
They were also treated to insights from successful entrepreneurs, including best-selling author and motivational speaker Brad Burton, who is MD of the UK's fast-growing business network. He said: "When I started my business I was £25,000 in debt. Fast forward 10 years and a few struggles and challenges later, I now run a multi-million pound, international business. Anyone can do anything if you apply yourself. It's about belief."
Dave Boffey, aged 26, of Belpher, Derbyshire, set out as a plant hirer using a 3CX backhoe loader as a 16-year-old school leaver in 2004. A decade on his business is thriving and he attended the event to inspire others to follow in his footsteps.
Dave said: "Ten years ago I set up on my own with a secondhand JCB backhoe because there was a shortage of operators.It can be daunting investing every single penny you have into machinery but I really want to demonstrate to others if you work hard and put your heart into it you can succeed."