On the up 18 May 2018

Young and Mighty: How 14-year-old Henry Patterson is teaching children to embrace entrepreneurship

Young and Mighty: Henry Patterson shares tips on being a successful child entrepreneur in his new book.
Young and Mighty: Henry Patterson shares tips on being a successful child entrepreneur.

Schoolboy entrepreneur and founder of children’s brand Not Before Tea, Henry Patterson is setting out to educate his generation on the value of money and work. The entrepreneurial children’s book, Young and Mighty, combines practical advice with the author’s own recipe for success and happiness.

Henry Patterson wants people his age to think about how to make their way in the world. Arguably, not all children are natural-born entrepreneurs at age 14, but Henry’s new book, Young and Mighty hopes to unlock the entrepreneurial trait inherent in so many 10 to 14 year olds out there.

Between 10 and 14, children are starting to think about their future and starting to make sense of what motivates them. Henry says children should learn about money as early as possible as a vital part of their training for later life.

“Children today don’t know if they’ll get a job or have their own home when they get older. Schools don’t teach us how to really set up a business. They also don’t educate us on being flexible and agile when it comes to working,” he says.

“What do you do if you graduate and there are no jobs in your sector to interview for? You don’t learn about back-up plans at school”.

Subtitled “Your secret weapon for earning some money, changing the world, and spending your future doing what you love”, the book includes ideas for making extra money and fundraising for good causes, plain English guides to the basics of starting and running a business, and a section packed with tips and engaging exercises to help young readers to start to “turn their ideas into things”.

“The real point of the book is to help people my age to think about how to make their way in the world.”

Speaking to some of Henry’s heroes and role models, he shares advice from the likes of Sir Richard Branson, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, celebrity investors Sarah Willingham and Theo Paphitis, Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger, Olympic showjumper Tim Stockdale, among others.

All recount their early experiences of earning money (not all successful) and explain what drove them to succeed in their chosen fields. A common theme being it’s rarely just money.

In Young and Mighty, Henry tells his own story too – his difficulties at school, his stammer and his journey to grow his children’s brand Not Before Tea and lessons he has learnt along the way.

“I have had negative comments from parents saying I should not be thinking about money and business at my age. I totally disagree. I have spoken to lots of people who didn’t even think about it until they left school and were then overwhelmed,” he says.

“Leaving school and starting a job shouldn’t be something to dread but something to look forward to. I don’t dread work, I find it fun. Everybody should love what they do. That’s really what my book is about.”

Henry started his official business journey at the age of nine when he launched children’s brand Not Before Tea. This was based on a story book he had written entitled The Adventures of Sherb and Pip. All the characters in the book were bought to life through products such as bags, wash bags and soft toys. Today the products are sold internationally and Henry has just secured investment to grow the brand further.

At 12 years old, Henry was a keynote speaker at the prestigious Retail Week Live event at the O2 in London, where he shared the stage with the likes of Facebook and Google.

Despite battling a stammer, he developed a love of public speaking and has since spoken alongside some of the world’s top motivational speakers on stages in Malaysia, Singapore, Italy, Berlin and Vietnam.

Now 14, Henry has just set up an online platform Young&Mighty, to enable young entrepreneurs to turn their business ideas into reality, through short practical courses.

Free spaces are offered to schools, who run ‘Get Mighty’ competitions to their students. This annual Dragons’ Den style format, encourages pupils to pitch their business idea to their teachers. Each age section will win access to the Young and Mighty online academy.

He is sharing the lessons he has learnt with schools and colleges throughout the UK, most recently working in a group of students from The Peter Jones Academy.

His experiences have ultimately taught Henry that children can discover their own version of success.

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest from Business Advice.