Young entrepreneurs: Josh Valman, RPD International 

With a company rumoured to be worth £5m, this 22 year-old founder proves that, when it comes to business, age is just a number...

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Name: Josh Valman
Company: RPD International 
Age: 22

Josh Valman’s business story is a lesson in determination.

After expressing an interest in design at the age of 13, Valman would often send his designs to factories across the UK; only to be met with sarcastic replies about his age.

Undeterred, Valman rounded up his life savings at the time (a mere £500) and sent his blueprints to China. Unlike the UK, manufacturers in the Far East were keen to work with him.

Two years later, aged 15, Valman had expanded his business portfolio; practicing as a freelance engineer and consulting a business on its $20m supply chain via Skype in between finishing school and starting his homework.

In 2013, aged 18, Valman founded RPD International, a design and manufacturing firm, which boasted phenomenal growth from take-off. The company was valued at £1m within its first six months of trading.

Today, RPD is rumoured to be worth as much as £5m and boasts a current growth rate of 450% year-on-year.

Supporting over 100 research and development (R&D) departments across Europe and Asia, Valman operates RPD across two offices in the UK and China, with manufacturing facilities across 40 countries. Valman counts the likes of Unilever, Vodafone and Air New Zealand as clients.

Speaking exclusively to last year, Valman struck back at those who think he’s too young to be running such a successful business:

“My last few years have been about proving it does work and now we have that credibility, age is irrelevant. The business is run by a team, it’s not just me. Look at our clients, 96 blue chip clients – it tells you something.”

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