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5 opportunistic businesses that will inspire your inner-entrepreneur

POSTED: 20th February 2017
IN: Guides
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As the cost of living continues to rise, many of us are starting to look for new ways to make a little extra cash. To inspire a different way of thinking, we’re looking at a number of self-employed individuals who found a way to capitalise on the opportunities that have come their way.

Man pulling pint in barWith inflation rising faster than wages, it’s not surprising that many of us are seeking out new ways of making a little extra cash in 2017. Our 2016 December Savings Report revealed that 22% of over 55s are needing to generate extra income due to high living costs, with 58% turning to websites such as eBay and Amazon to sell their unwanted possessions online.

Former adviser to Lord Alan Sugar on the BBC’s Apprentice, Nick Hewer, commented on the findings, highlighting why even more of us are likely to find our entrepreneurial streak in 2017:

“Over 55s have definitely had a difficult time of late. With savings rates staying low and retirement fast approaching for many, it’s no wonder the public is seeing the rise of the Olderpreneur, as the research shows. For most, looking to source a way of making ends meet is a necessary part of why many are turning to the internet etc. to generate extra income.

“Entrepreneurs play a vital role in the UK economy and having met so many during my time working with Lord Sugar, it’s interesting to see the various ways a fifth of the UK’s population are not only finding ways to secure extra income, but what they are actually using it for.”

With the UK government set to invoking Article 50, the upcoming period of political and economic change could present a number of opportunities for savvy-minded individuals to bolster their income. But what do innovative money-making ideas actually look like? To provide you with a little inspiration, we’re taking a look at five entrepreneurs who have seized the opportunities that have come their way.

1. Beau Jessup – Special Name

During a family trip to China, 16-year-old Beau Jessup from Gloucestershire was asked to give an English name to a newborn baby. With internet access limited in China, she subsequently realised that many individuals were choosing their English names based on items they had been exposed to, calling themselves names such as Gandalf and Cinderella.

After her discovery, she set up Special Name, a website where individuals in China can choose to have Beau select their child’s English baby name for the equivalent of 60p. Since starting the business, Beau has earnt an incredible £48,000, having named over 200,000 babies.

2. George Grant and Paul Delamere – ShinDigger Brewing Co.

After selling their popular homebrew beer while students at The University of Manchester, George Grant and Paul Delamere decided to continue their brewing business, ShinDigger Brewing Co., after graduating. With the aim of reinventing the image of real ale and introducing it to a younger market, George and Paul have since developed 10 unique beers which are available across the UK and even exported to Hong Kong – a far cry from brewing in the basement of their student house. Now producing 35,000 pints per month, ShinDigger Brewing Co. is receiving a further £100,000 investment to kick start 2017 and continue its success.

3. Steven Roberts – STR Skill School ltd

When football coach Steven Roberts started posting videos of his football skills and tips online, he had no idea how popular they’d be. After racking up 1.35 million subscribers and catching the eye of some of the world’s top brands, Steven, who lives in Suffolk, started earning enough to live off through advertising and endorsements on his YouTube channel, STR Skill School alone. Subsequently Steven set up his own business, STR Skill School ltd, in April 2014.

4. Joshua Magidson – eatstudent

As a first-year student, Joshua Magidson quickly realised there were no good takeaways open after a night out. To earn a little extra cash, he set up eatstudent.co.uk, a website which allowed students to order food from different takeaways in the area. The money-earner then turned into a fully-fledged business, catching the eye of JustEat who went on to buy the website for £500,000.

5. Harvey Millington - Tax Disc Reminder

After the government announced that drivers would no longer need to display paper tax discs in their vehicles, Taunton teenager Harvey Millington spotted an opportunity and started his business, Tax Disc Reminder.

Harvey noticed that hundreds of drivers were being clamped after not renewing their vehicle tax. Since then, he’s made £100,000 from selling replacement tax reminder discs for £4. The 14-year-old went on to invest the money he made from Tax Disc Reminder in a plot of land which he resold for just under £2 million.

Feeling inspired? By looking a little differently at the opportunities that come your way in 2017, you might just discover your own inner-entrepreneur.

If you’re looking for tailored finance solutions to help grow your business this year, take a look at our business solutions to see how we can help you.

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