Allan English is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Silver Chef, Australia’s only dedicated hospitality equipment funding solution. Silver Chef Limited listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2005; operates in three countries — Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and employs more than 200 people. Founded by Allan in 1986, Silver Chef has assisted more than 25, 000 clients achieve their business goals. Allan is also dedicated to a range of philanthropic work. He’s a Non Executive Director of the School for Social Entrepreneurs and he is currently a Board Member of Philanthropy Australia. He is also involved in his own non-for-profit, Opportunity International, and he is the Director of the English Family Foundation.
The eldest of four children, Allan was born in Western Australia in the small wheat belt town of Muckinbudin. His parents were second generation farmers and he spent his formative years on the family’s sheep and wheat property. Allan attended the local primary school before setting of to Perth to board at Aquinas College. Upon graduation, Allan was unable to return to the family property; after experiencing three years of tough drought, his father could not maintain the farm and was forced to let it go. His parents relocated to the city, while a young Allan began working as a railway ganger in Pilbara.
Allan is highly curious, an avid learner who has an innate business acumen and an eye for spotting trends. His path to success is fascinating, it gives a small snapshot of Australia in the 1970s and early 80s and is very much a story of talent meeting opportunity. Allan’s sales career began with him selling glory boxes to young women and later, Space Invaders arcade games and ice cream machines. It wasn’t long before Allan became the top salesman in Western Australia and was promoted to the role of state manager. When the ice cream company decided to franchise, selling to state managers by funding them in, Allan swiftly transitioned from salesman to owning his own business in just three months, marking the end of his Space Invaders days and the beginning of his entrepreneurial ventures.
In 2012, Allan was awarded the Queensland Community Foundations Philanthropist of the Year and the Griffith University Medal for Management Innovation. Allan and his wife live in Brisbane and have been married for almost 40 years. They enjoy travelling and visiting their three grown children all of whom live overseas.