Get your A Levels today? 13 UK billionaires skipped uni and started their own business!

Entrepreneurs such as Laurence Graff and Sir Richard Branson didn't let disappointment in school hold them back, as they built their business empires

For over 300,000 students across the UK, today is the first day of the rest of their lives – as the A Level results are released.

For a well-documented many, the opening of the envelope and the totting up of grades comes as a huge sigh of relief – before turning into untangled joy and celebration, and its not hard to see why.

Last year a record number of 424,000 students were granted a place into either a university or college, with a record number of EU students choosing to study in the UK.

For some however, the day represents their final flirtation with the education system – and with the modern day obsession and emphasis on third-level education, those to wish to ‘dodge a degree’ may feel that their chance of future success has all but vanished.

However, a recent report by Informi, has revealed how 13 UK billionaires amassed their fortune by skipping uni and starting their own business.

Analysing the Forbes Rich List World Ranking 2017, the entrepreneurs, who collectively hold a fortune of more than £45.5bn, include the likes of real estate and metals moguls David and Simon Reuben, Sir Richard Branson of the Virgin Group, Clive Calder of Jive Records, and Bernie Ecclestone, former chief executive of the Formula One Group.

Proof that success doesn’t come overnight, many of the celebrity entrepreneurs started from more meager beginnings – and took any job they could after leaving school.

Branson started his own mail-order records business, Calder was a musician, while Ecclestone took a job as a Chemical laboratory assistant.

Not just a story confined to the past, heading to university is still by no means a requirement to starting your own successful business.

Boiler Servicing 24-7, founded by school drop-out Alex Mayer, is now one of of Surrey’s biggest plumbing companies – while yourfeed, a recruitment platform launched by fellow drop-out Jack Parsons, recently raised £700,000 in seed funding.

Darren Nicholls, product manager for Informi, said:

“For those students nervously awaiting their A-Level results this week, and those who will be receiving their GCSE results the week after, this list demonstrates that some of the UK’s most successful and inspiring business individuals have gained financial success without having gone down the university route first.

“There’s no doubt that higher education can help many people into their career of choice. But equally, if you have a great business idea, you may be able to achieve your dreams and aspirations with the help and support of those around you, and by finding the best sources of expert advice to help you on your way.”

Inspired? Read this success story on how this woman created a mutli-million pound business despite A Level failure.


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