More and more entrepreneurs are starting young. Exceptionally young, and a lot of them are showing people who are much older the way.
In the UK, record numbers of people are starting businesses at a young age. The number of under 35s doing so has risen by 70% since 2006. According to research carried out by UnLtd, more than 55% of young people plan to or have already set up their own business by the time they are 21.
This is a trend that is reflected across the world. There are some amazingly successful young people from across the world. Everywhere you look from Nigeria to Istanbul young people are setting up businesses and making a success of them.
Today young millionaires, even billionaires can be found in many countries, but it has not always been that way. There was a time when making a million before you were 21 was literally unheard of unless you inherited that money or were given it by family members.
One of the first people to become a self-made millionaire before the age of 21 was Reuben Singh. In 1995, aged just 19 Reuben opened his first retail outlet in Manchester’s Arndale Centre. He used the £4,000 he had saved from working in sales since the age of 16 to pay for the lease and the stock.
The shop was called Miss Attitude and it sold accessories and makeup for girls. It was an instant hit.
In one day, the shop sold more than Reuben had expected to sell in the first month. By the weekend, he was running around looking for more stock. Over the next few months, he opened dozens more. By the time he sold the business in 1999, he was a multi-millionaire. At the time, that was unheard of in the UK. In the same year, The Guinness Book of Records confirmed that Reuben Singh was Britain’s Youngest Self-made Millionaire.
After selling his first business he went on to set up more including alldayPA, which is now one of the UK’s biggest call answering services. The firm is expanding fast and has just moved to new premises in Salford. Over the next few years, the company is planning to double the size of its workforce.
Mr Singh has served on government bodies and won numerous awards. His early success has led to all kinds of opportunities, but even today, he is still primarily interested in business.
Modern youth entrepreneurs
Setting up and running a business is a lot easier than it used to be. The internet has opened up a worldwide market.
Young people are highly motivated. Many are following business study courses at school or have parents who already run their own companies and know the ropes.
Increasingly, young people are setting up their businesses while still at school as a way to pay for their university education. They know that if they do not have money in the bank before they go to university they will be left with a mountain of debt once they have completed their degrees, so they are highly motivated. Many of them succeed and are like Mr Singh likely to go on to form other successful businesses, which is a good sign for the world’s economy.