Whether their entrepreneurial spark was ignited by selling sweets to their friends in the playground, or later on in their teens or twenties, young entrepreneurs are becoming some of the most influential talent in the UK. They will be dictating how society lives, works, dresses and eats for many years to come. There are thousands of promising young entrepreneurs up and down the country, but here are the 20, aged 30 or younger (at the time of publication), that the Great British Entrepreneur Awards team thinks are the most exciting in 2019.
Josh Wintersgill – Able Move
25-year old Josh Wintersgill is the founder of Able Move, a device that helps transfer disabled people from their wheelchair on and off planes. Diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy at the age of 18 months, Josh launched the company in February 2018 after years of frustration waiting for special equipment and assistance. In November last year, he won the Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs, chosen by easyjet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.
Jordan McCabe – Aztec Diamond Equestrian
Jordan McCabe is the founder of Aztec Diamond Equestrian, an affordable equestrian fashion brand named after her horse. Launched in 2014 at the age of 19, Jordan combined her two greatest passions – horse riding and fashion – to create designs that would appeal to her. Using innovative technologies, Aztec Diamond products are made from ethical and eco-friendly manufacturers designed to suit all riders’ styles and budgets.
Ifeyinwa and Emeka Frederick – Chuku’s London
Brother Emeka (28) and sister Ifeyinwa (27) are the founders of Chuku’s, a Nigerian tapas restaurant where guests can ‘chop (Nigerian slang for ‘eat’), chat and chill’. The pair started with pop-up restaurants in 2015 and are continuing to make a name for themselves with their authentic Nigerian flavours and unique environment four years later.
Akshay Ruparelia – Doorsteps.co.uk
Born in 1998, Akshay Ruparelia is the founder of Doorsteps.co.uk and one of the UK’s youngest millionaires. Doorsteps.co.uk is the online estate agency often described as the ‘Uber of property’, which Akshay launched while studying for his A-Levels. Just a year into business, Doorsteps.co.uk was valued at £12 million.
Chaz Englander, Rosie Dallas and Owen Turner-Major – Fat Llama
Chaz Englander (27), Rosie Dallas (26) and Owen Turner-Major (26) are the founders of Fat Lama, an online marketplace that enables users to rent their belongings. Described as the ‘Airbnb of stuff’, Fat Lama allows users to rent everything from drones and camera equipment to ladders, vacuum cleaners and even bikes. With everything automatically insured for up to £30,000, it is risk-free for the owners. After a successful launch in the UK, the trio raised $10 million in Series A funding to expand across the US, where they’ve seen rapid growth.
Fraser Doherty MBE – Serial entrepreneur
Fraser Doherty MBE started SuperJam, a brand of 100% fruit jam, at the age of just 14 from his grandmother’s kitchen and became the youngest ever supplier to a major supermarket two years later. Now aged 30, the multi-award winning entrepreneur is the co-founder of Beer52, a craft beer club that is one of Scotland’s fastest-growing companies. He is the best-selling author of ‘48 Hour Startup’ and ‘SuperBusiness’ and now tells his entrepreneurial story across the world.
Aamar Aslam – Funding Invoice
25-year old Aamar Aslam is the founder of Funding Invoice, an online marketplace that allows businesses to fill cash flow gaps as they wait for invoices to be paid. Aamar started the company after graduating in 2015. The idea came to him during his second year when he suffered cash flow issues with previous ventures.
Grace Beverley – B_ND
Grace Beverley is the popular fitness social media influencer behind B_ND, recently rebranded from Grace Fit UK. The 22-year old has amassed a following of over 500,000 YouTube subscribers and one million Instagram followers, and launched her own brand of premium gym equipment and workout guides. B_ND sold over 10,000 products within the first 30 minutes of the new brand going on sale.
Mike Bandar – Hopper
Initially created by Turn Partners start-up studio, 29-year old Mike Bandar is the co-founder of Hopper HQ, alongside James Vardy. Hopper HQ is an Instagram scheduling tool that allows people and brands market and engage better with their community. Since launching in 2015, Hopper has built up over 1,000 clients in over 55 countries.
Jamal Edwards MBE – SBTV
Jamal Edwards MBE (28) is the founder of SBTV, a music video production company that highlights emerging artists in the rap and grime genres. The videos are posted to YouTube, where SBTV earns a share of the advertising revenue alongside the artist. Since launch, SBTV has received nearly 700 million views.
Tommy Mallet – Mallet Footwear
Tommy Mallet is the 26-year old reality TV star turned entrepreneur, and founder of Mallet Footwear. He launched the high-end label in 2015 after he was unable to find the perfect pair of trainers for himself. Mallet is now stocked by 120 retailers around the world, including Selfridges and Harrods, while industry experts have listed it alongside the likes of Gucci and Prada as one of the ‘cool brands’ in footwear in 2019.
Amber Atherton – MY FLASH TRASH
MY FLASH TRASH is a brand of charm jewellery created by former reality TV star, Amber Atherton. Initially started as a blog and online marketplace for up and coming jewellery designers in 2008 at the age of 16, Amber utilised her time on Made in Chelsea to showcase her unique brand of jewellery and has a customer-base including the likes of Rihanna, Beyonce, Cara Delevingne, Suki Waterhouse and HRH the Duchess of Cambridge.
Michal Szlas – OTTY
26-year old Michal Szlas is the founder of OTTY Sleep, a manufacturer of mattresses that provides comfort, support and temperature control at a market-leading price. He created the company in 2016 after finding all options compromising on at least one factor. After finding quick success in the UK, OTTY has expanded across Europe with offices in Berlin and Amsterdam.
Laura Faeh and Cécilia Thomas – Poptails by LAPP
Longtime friends, Laura Faeh and Cécilia Thomas, both 29, are the founders of Poptails by LAPP. Launched in 2016, its biggest product is a range of alcoholic sorbet ice lollies which is sold in the UK, France, Balearic Islands and Netherlands. Following huge demand, the pair added two non-alcoholic flavours to the range.
Jonathan Grubin – SoPost
Having launched his first business at the age of 14, Jonathan Grubin (28) is the founder of SoPost, which helps consumer brands run product sampling campaigns to create advocates among their existing customers. With influencer marketing growing in popularity and importance in recent years, SoPost has established itself as a leading avenue for brands to generate engagement with existing customers.
Tom Honey – Stoned Pizza
23-year old Tom Honey is the founder of Stoned Pizza, a wood fire pizza company with a difference. Tom started the company as a holiday job at the age of 16 at two local campsites. He and his friends wouldn’t just serve the pizza, customers would sit and watch the whole cooking process, right from kneading the dough. They effectively put on a ‘show’ for their customers, something they call ‘Kitchen Theatre’.
James Gupta and Omair Vaiyani – Synap
James Gupta (27) and Omair Vaiyani (26) are the founders of Synap, an award-winning online training platform that helps people to learn more in less time. The friends came up with the idea while looking for a more engaging and effective way of studying for their exams at Leeds University. While working on the business at university, more than a quarter of all medical students in the UK used Synap and it’s growing its user base across the country.
Emily Coxhead – The Happy Newspaper
In a world dominated by negative news headlines and growing mental health issues, 24-year old Emily Coxhead is trying to change that with The Happy Newspaper. Launched in 2015, The Happy Newspaper aims to give news a different spin, with a collection of positive news stories and ‘everyday heroes’. After growing in popularity, Emily has expanded the company to bring the happier message to more people through gift cards, mugs, stationery and more.
Ross Testa – Yakety Yak
22-year old Ross Testa is the founder of Yakety Yak, a creative agency specialising in everything from video production to social media. Ross set about doing things differently by working with clients as ‘true partners’, rather than the traditional client relationship. Since starting the business, Yakety Yak has worked alongside the likes of Lord Sugar, Volvo and Huawei.
Zoe Sugg – Zoella
One of the UK’s best known social media stars, 29-year old Zoe Sugg is a YouTuber turned entrepreneur. Having started her YouTube channel under the Zoella name in 2009, Zoe quickly became one of the most popular individuals on the platform. With a dedicated fan base, Zoe launched her range of beauty and lifestyle products under the Zoella brand in 2014, and continues to go from strength to strength with a line of collaborations with other brands.
Entries for the 2019 NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards are now open.