Ollie Forsyth is a talented businessman and entrepreneur, and is running two successful businesses. Impressive? Wait, because here comes the shocker – he’s only 15! Ollie told me: “At the age of 6, my money making started off by making my parents Tea and Coffee for 20p, and if they wanted it reheated I would charge another 20p.” It seems Ollie has had entrepreneurial talents for all of his life, and he undeniably started early to make use of them.
Despite being extremely dyslexic, Ollie has managed to overcome his problem with the help of his school, Milton Abbey, in Dorset, and this has in no way impeded his business skills. He set up Ollie’s Shop (www.ollieshop.co.uk) in 2010, selling bracelets, cufflinks and more. The business idea came to life when he began selling friendship bracelets to acquaintances at school, and soon their parents began buying them too. He recently launched his 2013 collection, which featured leather belts, wallets and bracelets. Not only are Ollie’s gifts high quality, but they are also sold for great value, and all of his pieces are sold within the region of £5-£35. Ollie told me that since 2010 Ollie’s Shop has taken off massively due to the huge amount of commitment he has for his enterprise, and this is demonstrated by the £20,000 it turned over last Christmas
However this is not Ollie’s only trade. He also restores classic cars, and he currently has two classic cars including a Triumph GT6 MK1 and a 1930 Austin Ulster, which are both extremely valuable.
Ollie is currently working with over 50 charities including East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice and Teens Unite. He has told me that he hopes to have raised £1,000,000 for charity by 2024, a great aim to have at such a tender age. I think it is very touching that somebody of such a young age can have such a kind heart. An example of his compassion is his wish to visit Africa and to help people living in poverty to set up their own businesses. He hopes also to set up a charitable fund for inspiring entrepreneurs called The Ollie Forsyth Foundation.
Ollie told me that his greatest idol is Sir Richard Branson. He, like Ollie, is incredibly dyslexic and struggled as a young teenager, but has inspired Ollie to tackle his dyslexia and to set up businesses of his own.
Ollie’s Shop has become extremely well-known due to the young age of its creator, and hundreds of people have shown great interest. William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, commented: “Mr. Hague applauds your initiative at such a young age to start your own business.” Author Matt Dickinson described Ollie’s Shop as a ‘great example of a dynamic business idea’ and I think he is spot on. He has also been in a number of Newspapers and on the Radio a few times, and indeed as I am writing this Ollie is on BBC Radio Northampton, a great achievement.
Ollie has been labelled as the next Branson, and this is what he told The Northampton Chronicle & Echo: “I find school work challenging but battle through it. I get told again and again I’ll be the next Branson if I carry on doing what I’m doing, which I would love to be.” He plans to enroll in The Peter Jones Academy for budding businessmen, which is backed by Dragon Den’s star Peter Jones, one of the most successful and well-known British entrepreneurs.
Ollie’s ambition to help people throughout the world, along with his entrepreneurial flair (which was praised by India Hicks the TV Commentator and Model), is the perfect recipe to help his business to take off. At this young age, Ollie still has a long way to go, but I have all the faith that he will succeed. Ollie’s favorite quote, ‘actions speak louder than words’, suits him very well. He doesn’t want to be known as the next Richard Branson, he wants to be the next Richard Branson. Good luck Ollie!
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