The richest young entrepreneur in Britain is 30 and made his millions in sporting goods

Moving the goal posts.
Moving the goal posts.
Image: Reuters/Toru Hanai Livepic
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Alex Loven is the richest young entrepreneur in Britain.

On Sunday (May 13), the Sunday Times will publish its 2018 “Rich List,” ranking the 1,000 wealthiest people in the UK. The index is compiled by calculating an individual’s net worth based on their identifiable wealth, including land, property, other assets such as art and racehorses, and shares in publicly quoted companies. The calculations do not include bank accounts, which the paper can’t access. The newspaper sent Quartz a slice of the list, the richest entrepreneurs aged 30 and under, as a preview.

Loven, who is only 30 years old, is the owner of sporting goods retailer Net World Sports. He is worth £55 million ($74.6 million) after his company, which sells over 100,000 football goalposts a year, made £5 million proft on nearly £20 million of sales in 2016-17.

His success is indicative of how rapidly technology can now enable entrepreneurial success. Loven began selling sports equipment as a hobby in his teens. He founded his company in 2009, after buying a cricket bat on eBay for £60 (approximately $93 at the time), then writing to the supplier to find out the wholesale price: £6 ($9). He purchased 10 directly from the supplier, sold them at school for £60, and a business was born.

“Several of these entrepreneurs cut their teeth while still in their teens and were born after the first Rich List was published in 1989,” Robert Watts, the compiler of the Rich List, said in a statement sent to Quartz. “Their stories underline how GCSEs, A-Levels, and degrees are not the only route to success. Technology has made it is easier than ever before for young men and women to start up their own company. A laptop, mobile, imagination and determination can be all you need to build a strong business—and one that can now attract customers from all over the world.”