UK’s top young entrepreneurs have collectively raised over £133m

Growing Business has named its 13th Young Guns index of entrepreneurs aged 35 or under behind 30 of the UK’s fastest growing companies...

The UK’s most impressive entrepreneurs aged 35 or under behind Britain’s fastest growing firms have been announced today in Growing Business’ Young Guns ‘Class of 2015’ index.

This year’s crop is made up of 44 entrepreneurs behind 30 of the country’s up-and-coming businesses which have achieved revenues of at least £1m or funding of over £250,000.

The average age of qualifying founders in the index is 29.5 years-old – with the youngest entrepreneur aged just 21 – and the 30 businesses collectively employ over 1,150 people.

The index also gives some insight into the UK’s burgeoning funding landscape with over £133m raised by the 23 businesses that have secured investment – averaging £5.8m per business – £19m more (14.2% higher) than the total raised by the Young Guns Class of 2014.

Now in its 13th year, the Young Guns index has a reputation for spotting emerging talent and has previously recognised fledgling businesses started by the likes of Holly Tucker MBE of Notonthehightstreet.com, Richard Reed of Innocent Drinks, and Michael Acton Smith OBE of Mind Candy – to name just a few.

Celebrated at an awards luncheon held at the prestigious Kensington Roof Gardens, the Class of 2015 join an alumni already containing the founders of 360 businesses named since the Young Guns awards began in 2003.

Sponsored by chartered accountants haysmacintyre and law firm Keystone Law, the Young Guns awards celebrates the most outstanding young entrepreneurs Britain has to offer with only 30 companies selected each year, and no repeat appearances.

The Young Guns Class of 2015 are as follows:

  • Angus Elphinstone (32) AnyVan.com
  • Andy Atalla (35) Atom42
  • James Brown (25) Beer52
  • Arthur Kay (24) and Ben Harriman (28) BioBean
  • Adam Rossiter (32) and Elliot Dawes (33)   BULK POWDERS
  • Brent Hadfield ( 32) CaféPod
  • James Hind (28), Alexandra Margolis (28), David Santoro (32) Carwow
  • Sami McCabe (32) Clarity PR
  • Daniel Long (28) Clearabee
  • Petko Plachov (30) CommuterClub
  • Sara Davies (31) – Crafter’s Companion
  • Will Rees (27) Direct Online Services Ltd
  • Simon Swan (34) and Sara Jones (30) Hiring Hub
  • James Liang (33) – Hotcha
  • Adam Sopher (30) Joe and Seph’s
  • Alex Klein (24) and Yonatan Raz-Fridman (31) Kano
  • Aden Levin (26) and Robert Tominey (26) Mainstage Travel
  • Brynne Herbert (31) MOVE Guides
  • Daniel Price (28) and Jonny Sitton (28) My 1st Years
  • Husayn Kassai (25), Eamon Jubbawy (23) and Ruhul Amin (27) Onfido
  • Christian Owens (21) Paddle.com
  • Ben Cambage (27) TFS Healthcare
  • Reza Merchant (26) The Collective
  • Polly McMaster (35) The Fold
  • Sophie Hill (32) Threads
  • Mariano Kostelec (26), Miguel Amaro (27), Ben Grech (27) Uniplaces
  • Greg Duggan (28) and Damian Kennedy (30) Wheyhey
  • Jack Horton (26) Whites Group
  • Jay (30) and Meelan Radia (26) Yieldify
  • James Wilkinson (34) and Ryan Dignan (30) Zuto

The calibre of businesses was so high this year that the Young Guns judges selected a further five companies that they hope will form the basis of our Class of 2016 – the Young Guns Five to Watch:

  • Claire Vero (33) Aurelia Probiotic Skincare
  • Avin Rabheru (31) Housekeep
  • Cristiana Camisotti (33) and Pete Smith (34) Silicon Milkroundabout
  • Jack Tang (23) and Giles Williams (25) Urban Massage
  • Josh (24) and Hyrum Cook (22) Zeven Media

The awards also has two separate accolades – the haysmacintyre Top Gun; a title bestowed upon the Young Gun 2015 business which judges feel stands out the most, and Keystone Law Golden Gun; a title which recognises the outstanding achievements of one Young Gun alumni member.

Following in the footsteps of several prominent winners, Sara Davies of international craft marketplace Crafter’s Companion received the haysmacintyre Top Gun title. Having launched her business in 2005 while at university, Davies’ company now boasts multi-million revenues, is highly profitable and has a team of over 66 staff.

Natasha Frangos, partner at haysmacintyre, said: “The Class of 2015 are a fitting addition to our prestigious list of alumni. They represent a powerful network of entrepreneurs with UK founded businesses and we hope to keep them connected through our alumni events and initiatives.

“I am thrilled that we have our first female Top Gun in Sara Davies, with her innovative crafts business. Davies has created a business which is a leading example of customer and team engagement.”

The Keystone Law Golden Gun title was awarded to BrewDog founders James Watt and Martin Dickie – named Young Guns in 2009 – for having scaled their craft beer businesses to become a global brand. Creators of Scotland’s largest independent brewery, Watt and Dickie now have a range of bars across the UK and overseas and export their craft beers to 38 markets. The duo succeed 2014 Golden Gun Ross Williams of online dating services company Global Personals.

Keystone Law’s managing director, James Knight, commented:

“There is plenty of British innovation in today’s marketplace, but Brewdog captures the current zeitgeist perfectly. Ultimately, people want something different. And this business has been designed to exist as a real alternative to what people perceive beer to be. I was delighted to present the award and reward a business that continues to push the boundaries.”

Ian Wallis, editorial director of Growing Business, added:

“Britain is still emerging from a period of economic difficulty and we continue to live under the measures of austerity, but businesses like those created by our Young Guns not only give us all hope – they are the ones making the big difference by investing in talent, innovation, and infrastructure.

“Whether it’s their wealth, their brand, or their ability to inspire another generation, the Class of 2015 will be the businesses and entrepreneurs you see celebrated in 10 years for what they’ve achieved. Remember their names.”

View the full list of 2015 Young Guns and their profiles here

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