Around the globe, there are many child entrepreneurs who are making waves. However, a large portion of them are based in the U.K. With the world at their fingertips, these children are on their way to building empires, proving that you can never be too young to start your own business.
1. Nina Devani
At the young age of 14, Devani developed her first app – Prompt Me Nina – an app that allows users to set reminders for all of their passwords. She was inspired to do this after her father’s Facebook account was hacked. Despite being unable to code, Nina thought outside of the box and hired developers to help her create the app. The app was a success, causing her to be shortlisted for the NatWest Everywoman Awards in 2014. Now, on top of being the youngest nomination for such an award, Devani has 5 employees and 10 consultants working alongside her and her company, DevaniSoft Ltd.
2. Ben Towers
Ben started in business at only age 11 and was nicknamed ‘The Smartest Kid on the Planet’. He first got into entrepreneurship when a family friend asked for his help to build their company website. As he had no prior knowledge in this, Ben turned to YouTube to self-teach himself the skill. Little did he know, such an action would spiral into him created ‘ Tower Designs’ – a digital media agency that works with brands who are looking to target young people through marketing. He has worked with brands such as Pot Noodle, NHS Give Blood, Amazon and Virgin Racing. Now 21, Ben is also the co-founder of Tahora – a workplace community solution providing a platform to truly address mental health.
3. Henry Patterson
At 10 years old, Patterson wrote a book called the ‘Adventures of Sherb and Pip’ in 2014, which sold thousands of copies. In that same year, he started his lifestyle brand, Not Before Tea, an online shop which sells bags, soft toys, nursery décor, and children’s books. Now aged 15, Patterson’s products are stocked in over 60 UK stores and he has signed an animation deal to turn his book into a 12-episode cartoon.
4. Rose Dyson
At age 15, Dyson started her lip care brand, Pura Cosmetics, with only £25. After entering a local enterprise competition, she saw a gap in the cosmetics market for ethical cosmetics at affordable prices. Since starting the business in 2015, Pura Cosmetics now has its own shop, an online store and is also stocked in 30 independent retailers. Dyson hopes that “In the next few years I want Pura to be the number one ethical lip scrub and care provider in the UK.”
5. Lucy Berkovi
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Lucy decided it would be the best time to start her own business. The 11-year-old set up a business selling slime on websites like Etsy and TikTok. She soon created her own website, Lulu Bee Slimes, where she sells the different varieties she has on offer. From brightly coloured options to cookie dough slime, Lucy makes them all in the small factory she has set up in her bedroom. What started as a hobby to take up time during school closures has now become a fully-fledged business, with Lucy creating more and more slime recipes.
6. Imogen Webber and Annie Barrett
Just like Berkoni, the 12-year-olds, Imogen Webber and Annie Barrett, also used the lockdown to start their own business. ‘Sweets Supreme’ is their confectionary business. They package sweets into pizza boxes and sell them for £4 each. The growing business has made a respectable profit of £200 after selling 50 boxes so far. They’ve also ensured that social media plays a heavy role in the advertising and exposure of their business, making sure to note that they get quite a few of their customers from Instagram.
7. Jaeden Davison
12-year-old, Jaeden Davison, took advantage of people’s growing interest in YouTube, specifically those who are interested in starting their own YouTube channel. As the video-sharing platform hosts videos which are becoming more and more professional looking, Jaeden capitalised off of this when he created his business which sells YouTube intro videos. Similar to a TV show opening credits, Jaeden creates short videos for content creators to put at the start of their channel to introduce it. He was smart enough to find a niche in the content creating market, having self-taught himself the skills he uses to create the video intros.
8. Kirsten and Aiyven Mbawa
The Northampton tweens, Kirsten (13) and Aiyven (12) Mbawa, are a talented duo. The young debut authors used crowd-funding platform, Kickstarter, to help launch their book subscription service: Happier Every Chapter, in November 2020. Aimed at 8-14 year olds, their monthly boxes include 2 middle-grade fiction books (ensuring one is from a minority author), 2 short stories, activity sheets and a bunch of other bookish goodies. So far, they have over 20 active monthly subscriptions and counting.
9. Jenk Oz
At 12-years-old, Jenk Oz became one of the youngest CEOs in the UK. Now at 16-years-old, the British entrepreneur is the founder of Thred Media, a global publishing, production and consulting company. here they write on all aspects of youth culture seen through the lens of social change. It reaches teens and young adults in 130+ countries a month and has won several awards. Whilst keeping Gen-Z in mind, Oz also dedicates his time to helping young people achieve their goals.
10. Maya Glitters
Blogger, YouTuber, podcaster and fashion editor, Maya Glitters, is more than a triple threat. Whilst updating her viewers and readers on the latest fashion trends and giving style inspo, the tween also interviews a plethora of people on her podcast show such as Junior Bake Off Finalist, Naima Bakes and actresses, Ynez Williams and India Ria Amarteifio.
11. Omari McQueen
Vegan chef, Omari McQueen, has been making waves in the culinary industry. His catering company, Dipalicious, specialises in making vegan Caribbean food. The 12-year-old first started learning to cook at 7-years-old, when his mother had been sick with severe migraines. Now, all that hard work has paid off and he has become the U.K’s youngest TV chef, after landing his own CBBC show: ‘What’s Cooking Omari?’ The TV chef and founder has also been the recipient of awards such as the ‘Proud and Gifted Award’ in recognition for his work.
12. Alex Philip
The teenage YouTuber, Alex Philip, is money focused and on his way to becoming a millionaire. Now 17-years-old, Philips makes the majority of his money through his entrepreneurship. He saw the value in dropshipping and sells items he sources from Chinese suppliers, like AliExpress and AliBaba, on his Shopify account. He also makes YouTube videos where he teaches people how to make money through side hustles, Instagram and Shopify.
13. MJ’s Treats
The young baker named Marcus, is a 10-year-old baking powerhouse. After attending Ultra Education’s online entrepreneurship bootcamp in June 2020, the tween now runs his own bakery and sweet treats business from his home. Selling cupcakes, cakes and cake pops, Marcus has proven himself to be a talented baker as he sells both classic bakes and also custom orders with cool designs. He also runs a t-shirt business on the side too called ‘MJs Custom Shirts’, selling shirts for customers of all ages.
14. Drip Punch
These three teenage boys, Joshua, Jonathan and Kevon, prove that sometimes, friends should go into business together. The trio set up their company ‘Drip Punch’, whilst they were in secondary school. Whilst using recipes created by Joshua’s grandmother, the school kids used a commercial kitchen to manufacture the artisanal drinks. Their hard work proved to be an amazing success, as proven in 2018 when the group sold over 100 bottles in 20 minutes when catering at the popular Notting Hill Carnival. The boys not only understand the financial importance of building this business, but the cultural importance too, ensuring that their drinks continuously pay homage to their Caribbean heritage.
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By Etaf Adam