Young Entrepreneurs: Sean Spooner, Magnate Media
Star of the BBC’s Young Apprentice and one of the “World’s Youngest Publishers”, Spooner has created a men's magazine “for the digital age”…
Name: Sean Spooner
Company: Magnate Media
Sean Spooner is unlike any other teenage boy you’re likely to meet.
Having “dabbled” in affiliate networking sites with his own web design company from the age of 11, the digital hot shot went on to launch Corby Magazine with co-founder Louis Porter. Over a period of three years, the magazine grew to profitability and gained national and local media coverage with Spooner and Porter named by the BBC as the “World’s Youngest Publishers”. In 2012, the duo called time on Corby but Spooner was keen to continue on the entrepreneurial path.
At 16, he says he did “what any confused young businessperson would do” and applied for the final series of the BBC’s 2012 Young Apprentice show. While he felt he “had no chance” of being selected, Spooner was shortlisted from 16,000 applicants to the final 12 and, despite being fired early in the process, rather ironically on a publishing task, Spooner was undeterred – taking the lessons he learned on board to launch London men’s lifestyle magazine Magnate.
Starting a publishing venture after being fired on a publishing task might not appear the wisest business decision, a fact which Spooner recognises; “it was questionable to exit the process and launch another publishing company, but that’s what I did” and you have to admire his confidence. In fact, it seems the young entrepreneur is well on his way to proving Lord Sugar wrong.
Since launching the business in late 2012, initially as a print magazine and now exclusively digital, Magnate has covered interviews with a cross-sector of leading names from Richard Branson and Boris Johnson to Jamal Edwards, rapper Wretch 32 and Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing. Spooner says the magazine is already profitable as a result of its ‘freemium’ advertising model and he intends to expand the offering with additional product launches in the pipeline.
It’s clear that Spooner doesn’t regard his age as a barrier to success, in fact he believes it has helped him to “open more doors than would otherwise be possible”, and his plans for the future are as ambitious as ever.
With “new media” a fascination for him, over the next 10 years Spooner wants to be at the “forefront of the media industry” and he believes Magnate will play a key part in that – “Magnate has legs and I see no reason why we won’t still be working on the publication in 10 years”. Only time will tell…