Young people are the future of entrepreneurship, combining fresh enthusiasm, new ideas and a desire to leave the world a better place than they found it. They are the ones disrupting industries and challenging established thinking.
Along with our partners Starling Bank, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards prides itself on supporting exciting entrepreneurs making waves in the UK. Here are our 15 most exciting young entrepreneurs to watch in 2021 (aged 30 or under at the time of publication).
Asher Flowers is the founder of Rogue, a range of luxury preserves on a mission to “end the conservative world of mass produced and boring foods”. Rogue uses traditional cooking methods and combines them with unique flavour mixes (like raspberry and violet gin jam or negroni marmalade) to create handmade, luxury products in small batches.
Diego Fanara and Kimeshan Naidoo are the co-founders of Unibuddy, an innovative platform designed to help students find their perfect university, while supporting universities to discover their best students. Born out of Diego’s frustrating university selection process, Unibuddy enables prospective students to engage with student ambassadors to discover what it’s truly like at each university.
Elle Darby and Connor Swift are the co-founders of Angelle Collection, a brand of women’s loungewear. The couple started the business when Elle, who rose to fame as a YouTuber, struggled to find loungewear that was stylish, luxurious, cosy and comfortable without having to pay designer prices. Angelle aims to create pieces that are perfect to pop to the shops, have a cup of tea with friends or have a night in on the sofa in style.
Eve Kekeh is the founder of Bundlee, a sustainable rental subscription for baby clothes. With babies outgrowing seven sizes of clothes in their first two years, Bundlee offers a range of plans and styles that allows eco-conscious parents to rent a collection of clothes until they’re outgrown and swapped for new ones.
Iona Mackenzie is the founder of Talk & Grow, a platform designed to help tackle mental health problems by supporting people to find their ideal counsellor. Iona started the business when she was inspired by her own experiences trying to find a counsellor. Talk & Grow aims to remove the frustration from the process of seeking the right counsellor.
Jack Lear is the founder of Bodysocks and BargainFox.com. With the Covid-19 pandemic crippling his Bodysocks fancy dress business, Jack created BargainFox.com, an online sales platform specialising in discounted consumer goods, particularly goods that could no longer be purchased in-store as shops were forced to close.
Jack Parsons is the founder of The Youth Group, a youth-first business that provides young people with the tools they need to reach their full potential and follow career paths they truly care about. It also helps enterprise, government and education to engage, recruit and support young people from around the world.
James Dean and Harry Atkinson are the co-founders of Sensat, a data capture and digital twin software company that enables the construction industry to capture, visualise and track infrastructure projects from anywhere. Sensat allows infrastructure sites to be surveyed quicker, without ever having to go on site, while offering visualisation and interaction across topographical and design data in one platform.
Liv Little is the founder of gal-dem, a new media publication designed to tell the stories of people of colour from marginalised genders. Across an online and print magazine, gal-dem aims to address inequality and misrepresentation in news, media, arts, music, politics and lifestyle.
Ruby Aryiku, Rumbi Mupindy and Christina Okorocha are the co-founders of VAMP, the UK’s first agency dedicated entirely to the representation and development of black digital talent. It focuses on entertainment PR - supporting studios and labels to reach a diverse audience authentically through PR - and a digital talent agency for black female influencers.
Sasha Haco and James Thewlis are the co-founders of Unitary, an AI platform that flags harmful content to keep everyone safe online. Instead of using traditional blanket keyword detection, Unitary’s AI moderates visual content by applying an understanding of its context. Its customisable function enables different communities to implement different levels of context and safety for their users.
Teri Elizabeth Ellington is the founder of Ellington Timepiece, a purposeful and stylish watch brand. Teri started the business in 2017 after losing her job and with just £80 to her name. The brand has allowedTeri to share her story of suffering from crippling anxiety and agoraphobia, which left her unable to leave the house. She has channelled her experience into creating a brand that raises awareness for mental health issues.
Timothy Armoo is the founder of Fanbytes, a marketing agency that focuses on the next generation. Fanbytes helps brands to connect and engage with Gen Z audiences in an authentic and interactive way across various platforms. Since launch, it has worked with the likes of Nike, McDonald’s, Deliveroo, Boohoo, and Warner Music Group.
Trina Nicole is the founder of Curve Catwalk and Curlture. Curve Catwalk is the UK’s first dedicated dance class for “plus size, curvy, chubby, big, voluptuous, thick, XXL, fluffy” women that aims to create a safe space for body liberation and build a community. Curlture is a platform designed to celebrate black beauty and culture, addressing important issues on identity, self-love, natural hair and everything in between.
Valentina Milanova is the founder of Daye, a women’s health business that seeks to improve the standard of women’s health by creating effective products and services that fit conveniently into women’s lives. Daye also invests in research that aims to overcome historical gender biases in medical research and product innovation.
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