Young people are amazing aren’t they? We’re never surprised to see the calibre of entrepreneurs entering our Young category. It’s always a hard job to pick a shortlist, let alone a winner!
From a leader in influencer marketing to the ‘Uber of the property industry’ and genderless make-up, young people are constantly impressing us with their diverse range of ideas and self-determination.
Ben Jeffries – Influencer
At just 22, Ben Jeffries has already established himself as the industry face of influencer marketing. Still studying at university, Ben raised £200,000 in funding for his business idea before launching in 2014. He relaunched his company, Influencer, with the support of YouTube star Caspar Lee in 2017, providing the simplest and most effective way to connect brands with social media influencers.
Jessica Blacker – JECCA
Founder of JECCA, a genderless make-up brand born in Cardiff but based in Manchester, Jessica Blacker is one of the most groundbreaking young entrepreneurs on this list. Having achieved initial success, Jessica is splitting her time between the office and Europe’s largest incubator, Station F, in Paris, where she is taking guidance from the likes of L’Oreal, Yves Saint Laurent and The Body Shop.
Kieran Aitken – Orbit Enterprise Education
Having launched several businesses since the age of 11, 20-year old Kieran Aitken is a leading light in boosting engagement with enterprise courses in the education system. With backing from Royal Bank of Scotland and Sir Tom Hunter, Orbit Enterprise Education helps teenagers to create real, money-making businesses in their spare time, without impacting on school teaching time.
Oliver Bridge – Cornerstone
Having suffered with sensitive skin for a number of years, Oliver Bridge has taken the UK shaving market by storm with a flexible subscription service. Focusing on the area niche, Cornerstone has crowdfunded an impressive £1 million to build the brand beyond the 100,000 customers it has already secured.
Anisa Haghdadi – Beatfreeks
Anisa Haghdadi has been one to watch since launching her first social enterprise at the age of just 15. After graduating in 2012, Anisa launched Beatfreeks which promotes and encourages young people and ethnic minorities to develop skills by connecting them with brands on socially-focused projects.
Akshay Ruparelia – Doorsteps
At just 19, Akshay Ruparelia is already one of the UK’s most exciting young entrepreneurs. He built his online estate agents, described as the “Uber” of the property industry, while studying for his A Levels. After just one year in business, Doorsteps is valued at over £12 million.
Angus D Birditt & Lilly Hedley – The Bridge Lodge
Angus and Lilly took the idea that you can ‘start a business from anywhere these days’ quite literally. They launched The Bridge Lodge, a small, seasonal food company using only the most local ingredients from neighbouring woodlands in “literally the middle of nowhere” near Wrexham in North Wales.
Joe Schuppler – Independent Birmingham
First launched five years ago as a blog to showcase the amazing independent bars, restaurants, cafes, and shops in Birmingham, Joe Schuppler’s Independent Birmingham is now a rapidly-growing membership service that provides discounts and offers to be used at over 100 independent locations in the city.
Benjamin Shalom – Ultimate Boxxer
With backing from the likes of Ricky Hatton, Paulie Malignaggi and Anthony Crolla, Benjamin Shalom is shaking up the boxing world with Ultimate Boxxer. The format often gives younger, less experienced boxers the chance to earn substantially more exposure and money than they have done in their careers so far.
Louise Leolin – DinoByte Labs
Take a look at the UK and global gaming industries, and you will see mostly men. In fact, 52% of gamers in the UK are female, but just 14% of those in the industry are. That’s something Louise Leolin is trying to change. She’s the founder of DinoByte Labs, an indie development studio which also offers support and advice on different areas including game design, branding and user research.
Eddie Robb – Make it Social
Technology has long been blamed for the a perceived lack of time spent in real-world social situations, but Eddie Robb is seeking harness technology in order to bring people together. Make it Social takes the stress out of organising and paying for activities by allowing groups to book event tickets together but pay separately.
Gabi Cox – Chroma Stationery
Turning a profit within three months of launching, and being debt free after 18 months is nothing short of impressive, particularly for a recent graduate. Gabi Cox and her unique range of colourful and personalised stationery gained plenty of attention after online influencers Lily Pebbles and Zoella shouted about her products to their audiences. Now, she sells products to the likes of ITV, American Airlines, Max Factor and White Stuff.
Katie Waddell & Harry Wang – Spoon Street
Along with husband, Harry, Katie Waddell has taken Belfast by storm with Spoon Street – the city’s first self-serve frozen yoghurt store. Since launching in 2014, the couple have opened two more in the Northern Irish capital, with plans to expand the brand and double the number of stores in the near future.
Daniel Bridgewater – Buckt
Having only launched Buckt at the start of 2017, Daniel Bridgewater is the founder of what has been described as ‘one of the most innovative businesses’ to come out of the Midlands. Buckt is a subscription service which provides its customers with five mystery things to do – like a monthly bucket list.
Rose Dyson – Pura Cosmetics
Starting out at 15, Rose Dyson is award-winning the founder of Pura Cosmetics, a range of vegan and cruelty-free lip cosmetics. Now 18, Rose is still running the business while studying her A Levels, with plans to focus on growing Pura Cosmetics full-time upon completion of her education.