Starting a business

Would you like to start your own business when you're older? Joe meets young British entrepreneurs who are doing just that, and gets expert advice from Sir Richard Branson on how to make your business a success.

Instructions

Do the preparation task first. Then, watch the video and do the exercises. Remember you can read the transcript at any time.

Transcript

Joe: Golf is a sport played all over the world. But wherever you are, after you’ve hit your shot, there can be a long walk to go and get your ball. But now, there’s a new way to get around the golf course. You just hop on, and I’ll see you down there.
This simple idea, to make a small and lightweight golf cart which will fold and fit in the boot of the car, was invented by a British engineering student. Now, just a few years later, the RolleyGolf is being sold around the world. That student inventor is now an international businessman …
Joe: Hello!
Arnold: Hello!
Joe: … and the winner of several young entrepreneur awards.
So Arnold, how did you come up with the idea?
Arnold: RolleyGolf’s idea came up at university when I was studying design and we took that design to a golf course and discovered there was a niche in the market.
Joe: So you actually sold some before you’d even built them?
Arnold: Yes, we created one RolleyGolf, and on the basis of one RolleyGolf, we built many for clients.
Joe: And do you still play golf?
Arnold: It’s my major passion in life.
Joe: Well, let’s go!
Arnold: Let’s do it.
Joe: Arnold is one of thousands of young people in Britain with ideas for a new business.
One famous businessman who helps young people get started is Sir Richard Branson. He was once in Arnold’s position, facing the same challenges as a young entrepreneur. Now, he’s the head of the massive Virgin group, which includes mobile phone, media and travel companies. They sponsor Virgin Pioneers, which was set up to support young business people.
Joe: Sir Richard, as a businessman, what was it like for you when you started?
Sir Richard: Ah … It’s difficult … You know, 45 years ago when I started off in business, the word entrepreneur didn’t really exist, so for many years all that really mattered was the word survival. And I sort of threw myself in the deep end and had to fight to survive. And I suppose I was lucky to survive, and lucky that Virgin grew into the company it has today.
Joe: Do you think it’s a good time to start a business in Britain?
Sir Richard: I think it’s a great time to start a business anywhere in the world. If, you know, what is a business? A business is just coming up with an idea that’s going to make a positive difference to other people’s lives. If you’ve got an idea like that, you know, just do it.
Other young pioneers gave their advice too.
Entrepreneur 1: My top tips for young entrepreneurs all over the world are to believe in yourself, be passionate about your idea, if you have a dream, you have to do everything in your power to make that happen.
Entrepreneur 2: Surround yourself with people that can help lift you and your business higher.
Entrepreneur 3: Meet as many people as you can. Talk to as many people as you can.
Entrepreneur 4: Just get started as soon as possible. Start small, but do get started.
Joe: Arnold wanted to produce his golf cart in Britain. This was difficult, because a lot of companies these days manufacture their products in East Asia, especially China. Arnold's company now make around 50 of his products every single month, and many of the parts are handmade in this small workshop in South London.
Can I come in?
Michael Winch cuts and shapes many of the parts for the cart in his workshop.
Michael: What we do is we receive a piece of raw material and machine it and we make it into something which is more valuable than the original piece of material.
Joe: So it sounds like a lot of hard work, but do you enjoy it?
Michael: It’s great fun, yeah.
Joe: Arnold’s invention is now legal on the roads in Britain, so I’m sure he won’t mind if I borrow one to get home. See ya!

Discussion

If you were going to set up your own business, what type of product or service would you offer?

Personal online tutoring
EnglishScore Tutors is the British Council’s one-to-one tutoring platform for 13- to 17-year-olds.

Comments

Submitted by Requejo on Mon, 04/05/2021 - 16:23

I'D PROVIDE the car wash BECAUSE it is an activity that I like and I know how to do.

Submitted by hermione123 on Wed, 02/10/2021 - 07:05

well, i prefer to sell unique clothes that really different from the rest, but also comfortable. so, people will want to wear it because it's comfortable, you can wear it anytime. but, you will always look fashionable. and, usually comfortable and fashionable clothes will become a trend.
Profile picture for user Andrii

Submitted by Andrii on Wed, 10/07/2020 - 17:17

I'd sell computers and accessories for them, for example keyboards, mouses, headphones, web-cams and other things, for gaming. I'm a gamer so I understand how is it important to have good devices.

Submitted by TR790 on Tue, 05/19/2020 - 13:54

Smartphone. Because this is an age of science and technology. People around the world have a lot of interest for smartphones these days so I think I can be successful in my business with this product though I know that it's takes a lot of hard work.
English courses near you