Starting young

It doesn’t matter if you are young or old – if you have an idea you can turn it into a reality with hard work. 

I cannot stress enough that age is just a number and you shouldn’t let it stop you. I left school at 16 and pursued my dream of setting up Student magazine, and I have never looked back.

I was so utterly determined to do my own thing (often misinterpreted as pig-headedness by those around me – as my mum has previously admitted), but I was extremely fortunate that my parents nurtured my entrepreneurial spark and supported my dreams, whatever they were. 

It’s really wonderful to see this spark in the next generation. I recently met 13-year-old entrepreneur Henry Patterson, who founded Not before Tea when he was just nine-years-old. I was thoroughly impressed with his ambition and drive (I was still trying to build a business breeding budgies when I was around his age!).

His business is based on a story book he had written called The Adventures of Sherb and Pip. All the characters in the book have been brought to life through products such as bags, wash bags and soft toys. It’s a huge achievement that his products are listed in over 60 stores and are being sold worldwide. 

We chatted about how a business should give something back to the world and change things for the better. I’m excited to see Henry is now setting up a foundation called Young & Mighty to encourage other young people to start a business and share ideas. His motto is ‘turn your passion into possibilities’, which is an idea I can really get behind. If you do what you love, you’ll move mountains to make it happen and make it successful.

I wish Henry the best for the future and I hope other young people are inspired by his story to follow their entrepreneurial ambitions. 


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