Young Gun entrepreneurs have created over 1,210 jobs for the UK economy

Growing Business has revealed its annual Young Guns index of entrepreneurs aged 35 or under behind 30 of the UK’s fastest-growing companies

The most outstanding entrepreneurs aged 35 or under behind Britain’s fastest growing firms have been recognised in Growing Business’ annual Young Guns ‘Class of 2017' index.

The 2017 class is made up of 40 entrepreneurs behind 30 of the UK’s most promising businesses which have achieved revenues of at least £1m and/or raised over £1m in funding.

Making a difference by investing heavily in talent, innovation and infrastructure, the 30 businesses have helped to create some 1,210 jobs and generate an average turnover of £6.8m – nearly £3m more than the average turnover of businesses in the Young Guns Class of 2016.

The average age of qualifying founders in the index is 29.5 years-old – with the youngest entrepreneur aged just 22.

As well as the Young Class of 2017, 11 entrepreneurs behind five businesses have also been named as Young Guns to Watch – with the judges hoping these businesses will make up the basis of the Class of 2018.

Now in its 15th year, the Young Guns index is renowned for identifying emerging business success stories and has previously recognised fledgling companies started by the likes of Will Shu of Deliveroo, Holly Tucker MBE of, Michael Acton Smith OBE of and Mind Candy, Tom Valentine of Secret Escapes, and the co-founders of Kano, Appear Here, PROPERCORN and graze– to name just a few.

Celebrated at an awards luncheon held at the prestigious Kensington Roof Gardens, the Class of 2017 join an alumni group which will contain the founders of more than 450 businesses named since the Young Guns awards began in 2003.

Sponsored by chartered accountants haysmacintyre alongside commercial property advisors DeVono Cresa and supported by key partner Home House, the Young Guns awards champions the best and brightest young entrepreneurs that Britain has to offer with only 30 companies selected each year, and no repeat appearances.

Click here to see the Young Guns Class of 2017 

Young Guns also has two separate accolades the haysmacintyre Top Gun; a title bestowed upon the Young Gun 2017 business which judges feel stands out the most, and Golden Gun; a title which recognises the exceptional achievements of one Young Gun alumni member.

Ian Wallis, editorial director of Growing Business and, commented:

“The Young Guns Class of 2017 has the usual effervescent hallmarks that make this network of entrepreneurs so incredibly special. From a reimagined way to generate electricity and a touch of genius in viral video making to the companies who may well provide the keys to the future of banking, pensions, and property purchasing, there is innovation galore here.

“As we transition through uncertain political and economic times, it’s the measure of these young businessmen and women that they are inspiring their employees, their investors, and the next generation of entrepreneurs. Be sure of one thing, collectively they will drive UK enterprise forward with ingenuity and conviction for years to come.”

Natasha Frangos, partner, head of creative, media and technology at haysmacintyre, commented:

“It was fascinating to hear about this year’s Young Guns businesses. Congratulations to all! The creative, media and technology team at haysmacintyre never fail to be impressed by each awards year cohort and this year was no exception.

“Many of the businesses in the Class of 2017 are disruptive – taking established business models and offering them in new formats or utilising them in innovative ways. It’s great to see a new generation taking on the big market players (be they the social media giants, pension providers or the supermarkets) and carving out their own market niche.”

In numbers: Who are the Young Guns Class of 2017?

  • There are 40 qualifying co-founders in Young Guns class of 2017, and 11 co-founders in Young Guns to Watch
  • The total funding raised by the Class of 2017 is £204,233,000 (The Five to Watch businesses have collectively raised £6.4m)
  • The mean age between the qualifying founders is 29.5 years-old, with the two youngest entrepreneurs in the index both aged just 22
  • Eight of the 30 Class of 2017 (26.6%) companies operate internationally
  • The 30 businesses collectively employ 1,210 employees
  • Between the 23 companies that are equity backed, the total they’ve raised stands at over £204m
  • That means those 23 companies have raised £8.86m on average
  • It also means seven companies in this Class have grown organically
  • Average turnover (for the 28 businesses who told us) is £6.8m. This is a huge increase on last year’s class where average turnover was £4m, and the 2015 class where average turnover was £2.4m
  • 17 of the 30 businesses in the Class of 2017 are turning a profit
  • The oldest company featured in the Class of 2017 was founded in 2006, while the youngest was founded last year [June 2016] following a £100m raise

Entry criteria:

  • Entrants must be aged 35 or under on entry deadline
  • Entrants must be founder, co-founder, managing director, or CEO of a privately owned business
  • Young Guns must either be from the UK or have started their company in the UK
  • Companies must be turning over £1m or more or must have raised £1m or more of angel or venture capital backing
  • Businesses must employ between five and 500 people
  • Companies must be able to demonstrate a unique or outstanding proposition, be proven in their markets, or will have experienced considerable success
  • Businesses must be created for growth – not micro or ‘lifestyle’ businesses