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London is Britain’s business capital. Hundreds of entrepreneurs have set up their high-flying businesses here. Whether commercial, retail or tourism, Britain is the place to be.
There are some amazing small businesses popping up all over Great Britain. This is Yarm High Street in the north-east of England where two sisters are really making their mark on the worldwide fashion scene ... and they’ve only just entered their 20s. Let’s go and say hello.
Emily: Hello, Rock 'N Rose. Emily speaking.
Emily and Jess started making jewellery from their mum’s garage when they were just 15 years old. Today this British vintage-inspired brand is worn by celebrities, trend-setters, and sold around the world, and their profits are booming. This is their own studio where they make most of the jewellery.
There’s no stopping these young entrepreneurs. And I want to know what the secret of their success is.
Jess: Hi, Richard! Welcome to Rock ‘N Rose … Come on in …
Richard: Ladies, tell me. How has the business started from nothing to all of this?
Jess: Well, we started back in 2007, and it really started as more of a hobby, part-time, a way of making a bit of cash really, and it kind of grew exponentially from there.
Richard: How do you feel when you see your jewellery in magazines and being worn by celebrities?
Emily: Sometimes you've got to pinch yourself to really realise how well we're doing and how many magazine features we are getting.
Richard: Do you think Great Britain is a good place for entrepreneurs?
Jess: Definitely. I think there's a lot of help and advice available out there. I know we had a business advisor from Business Link, the government organisation, and they were invaluable to us, weren't they? And I think there's lots of websites and there's lots of information out there to help people in Great Britain with entrepreneurship.
Some companies come from abroad to set up in Great Britain, too. In fact, more overseas businesses choose to set up here in Britain than anywhere else in the world.
But, when it comes to British success, this next businessman is one of the best …
Bannatyne’s health club in Darlington is owned by Duncan Bannatyne, one of Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs, and I’m hoping he’ll help me make my first million … well, I can dream!
Duncan has also become something of a TV celebrity and I can’t wait to meet him.
Duncan Bannatyne is a multimillionaire. He’s the proud owner of 61 health clubs, 3 hotels, 28 day spas and even a bar … and the entire empire of the entrepreneur was built through sheer hard work.
Richard: You're very successful now, but how did your career begin?
Duncan: My career began when I was 29. I was on the beach – I was a beach bum in Jersey. I was just enjoying life, had no money, no bank account. I worked in a bakery for a year and I was 31 years old and I would finish working in the bakery, go to the car auction, buy an old car, do it up, sell it for a profit, and two weeks after we bought our first house, I saw an ice-cream van coming through the auction. I decided to buy it and start a business.
Richard: In what way is Great Britain a nation of entrepreneurs?
Duncan: Great Britain has got a great entrepreneurial spirit and it's coming out quite a lot now since television programmes like The Apprentice and Dragons' Den. Entrepreneurism is about working hard, building a business, but more importantly enjoying that and enjoying life.
Richard: So if I was to set up business, what advice would you give me?
Duncan: If you set up a business, my piece of advice to you would be to work hard, make it work, and really, really enjoy it.
Richard: Glad you mentioned that, Duncan, because I've got an idea for a start-up company. I was just wondering if you'd like to come in and invest and ...
Duncan: I'm out.
Richard: You haven't heard the idea yet so ...
Duncan: I know. I'm out.
Richard: That's a little harsh.
Well, I couldn't leave without using the facilities, could I? That’s enough of that.
Well, I’ve met some of Britain's greatest entrepreneurs, and it’s left me feeling very inspired. In fact, I'm ready to take on the world. Come on!
It’s this way.
This video is part of the Britain is GREAT series. To find out more about the project and to see the full series of videos visit our LearnEnglish website.
Worksheets and downloads
Would you like to set up your own business? What would you do?