Awarded an MBE for services to business in the New Year’s honours list, Ben Francis kicked off his sportswear business in his parents Bromsgrove garage in 2012. Gymshark has long since outgrown its humble origins in an unfashionable town near Birmingham, with the business worth over £1 billion by the time Francis was at the palace to receive his medal.
Now with a flagship store on Regent Street, Gymshark is the workout wear of choice for Millennials and Gen Z. It started when Francis was a student at Aston University studying business management. The former pizza delivery driver started to sell dietary supplements before shifting to clothing. A viral video of a tracksuit at a Birmingham trade show sent the Aston Villa season ticket holder and keen petrolhead on his way to superstar entrepreneur status.
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