My Column

£10 separates the Men from the Del Boys

  • Date: Monday 8th April 2013
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Some say entrepreneurs are born.

It’s a statement that I can agree with and sometimes disagree with.

Yes, some of us have that instinct, wheeling and dealing from an early age.

But you can also teach someone the basics of business and how to be a better risk taker.

Me – I’ve always been obsessed by business, even in primary school.

Growing up my dad had a newsagent’s store in Alloa and I used to do a paper money round for him and use the money to buy Panini football stickers.

I knew that my schoolmates were always looking for missing stickers to fill their albums and quickly recognised an opportunity to sell them on for a profit.

It was one of my first ventures but helped shape my future in business, it also made me Mr Popular in school.

I was the go-to-guy for the football daft kids desperate to fill their albums – clearly the big teams were sold on for a premium.

I found that I had a natural flair for negotiation from an early age, and had the instinct to identify a demand and deliver to it.

I always look back on my formative years with a buzz of excitement and found myself reminiscing about the playground deals when I learned about Tenner, a nationwide enterprise competition for young teenagers.

The scheme has been launched by Young Enterprise Scotland and gives young people £10 to do something enterprising, make a difference and give back.

These types of initiatives are fantastic and are just what we need to foster a culture of entrepreneurialism amongst Scottish schoolkids.

I visit schools often to discuss enterprise projects and the ingenuity shown by our youngters is incredible, which fills me with confidence for the future of Scotland.

These kids will be our next innovators and wealth creators and it is vital that more and more schools build enterprise into their curriculum.

It also got me thinking about what I would do if I lost everything and was handed a tenner.

Sir Alan Sugar is on the record as saying if you took away his fortune he would be able to do it all over again – and I have to agree with him.

Yes it would be hard, but you never lose the instinct on how to launch a business and use your money to make a better business.

Which got me thinking about this tenner, what would the kid in me do?

The first thing I would do would go to a car boot sale or a second-hand shop which stocks CDs and DVDs.

I’d take my iPhone and check what they are selling on eBay, some of them may be collectables.

You could quite easily buy them for 50p a piece and shift them on for six pounds – now that is good margins in anyone’s business.

By this time your money is already growing and you can start to let your money work for you by buying more goods and moving them on for bigger profits.

That is how most businesses grow and I bet tenner participants can do it too – you just have to think outside the box.

But maybe not your first idea, the chances are someone is already doing it, so go with your third or fourth – it is likely to be more original and will give you a better chance of winning the top prize.

Registration will be open at until April 22.


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