David Gold on his early entrepreneurial ventures [Video]

The successful entrepreneur talks about how his family set up a stall outside their house

Speaking to Startups in this video, Ann Summers chairman David Gold reveals how his early “abject poverty” led him to his first entrepreneurial venture.

Gold, who has risen to become one of the richest and most successful businessmen in the UK, reveals that his first memories were of living in grinding poverty in London’s East End, with his family forced to turn to whatever they could to make ends meet.

After the first family home was bombed in the Second World War, the Gold clan were forced to move to a house opposite West Ham United’s ground Upton Park, a move which was to bring “good fortune” for the nascent entrepreneur. “The next home we moved into was on a main road – instead of having a small garden, it had a concrete base outside,” recalls Gold. “One thing led to another and suddenly we found ourselves with a stall outside the house.”

The West Ham co-owner recalls the stall had no specific focus, selling “buttons, remnants, anything we could get our hands on”. However, the Golds displayed flashes of seasonal entrepreneurial verve by making and selling their own Christmas garlands on the stall over the November-December period.

Another boost to business, Gold recalls, was the house’s location opposite Upton Park. For an hour every Saturday, the road was packed with fans going to the match, and the Gold stall did a roaring trade. “In retail terms, there was a high footfall,” said Gold. “We didn’t know the term – but suddenly there were a lot of people, and that was the way in which we survived.”

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