17-year old with big plans started at the age of 6: he's in good company

By starting so young Ollie Forsyth is following in the footsteps of a number of famous business leaders

Ollie Forsyth

Ollie Forsyth, a 17-year-old entrepreneur from Pury End, near Towcester, Northamptonshire, says he plans to be a millionaire by the age of 20 - and he's well on his way. He's currently studying at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, runs one business turning over £30,000 a year - and has set up his second. He's following in the footsteps of some of Britain's biggest entrepreneurs.

Back in July the Huffington Post reported that Forsyth was hooked on business from an early age. He started out at the age of six, by making tea and coffee for his parents and charging them per cup. He then moved onto a car cleaning operation, and started running a tuck shop at school. The tuck shop alone sold £7,000 of treats a year.

By the age of 13 he'd established an online gift shop, which turned over £13,000 in its first year and now turns over £30,000 a year.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, he revealed that he didn't stop there, and has recently started a magazine called The Budding Entrepreneur - which aims to give people the tools and resources they need in order to start a successful business. So far it has 4,000 readers.

His next project is a young entrepreneurs competition. He told the newspaper: "Students aged between 13-20 have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to me and the entrepreneur with the best idea will receive £1,000 investment from myself with a 50/50 partnership, as well as mentoring from myself and well-known entrepreneurs."

Starting young

Forsyth's business inspiration is Sir Richard Branson - who is also dyslexic and started his first magazine at the age of 16. Branson is convinced about the need to develop business acumen early in life that he recently set up a scheme for primary school children - lending them £5 for a month to see if they could turn a profit.

However, Forsyth is also following a pattern trodden by a number of famous names. Lord Alan Sugar, for example, used to sell photographic film to his friends at school. After leaving school, he moved on to selling electrical goods out of a van - before founding Amstrad in 1968.

Theo Paphitis was another entrepreneur who has dyslexia, and channeled his efforts into running a tuck shop at school. After leaving school he worked for other people, developing his sales skills and business acumen, before launching a property company at the age of 23.

Chris Dawson left school at the age of 15 barely able to read or write. His hero was Del Boy, and he followed his example, selling a huge range of items in markets across the South West. In 1989 he ploughed all of his profits into starting The Range. There are now 88 stores across the country, and Dawson is a billionaire.

And Sukpal Singh was a refugee from Uganda, when at the age of 18 he spotted a gap in the car parts market, and borrowed £5,000 to start Euro Car parts. He eventually sold the business to a Chicago firm and is now worth £300 million.

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