Nine-year-old 'Gordon Gekko' opens third business

Britain's youngest entrepreneur has set up his third business - at the age of just nine.

Henry Patterson started his first enterprise when he was just seven selling bags of manure for £1.

The schoolboy slicker then went on to set up his own eBay store where he sold items he had bought from charity shops - and made himself £150.

Now Henry has started a children's online sweet shop called Not Before Tea.

He has already had over 100 orders for his sweets and smashed his £10 profit target for the first month in the first week.

The youngster, who created his own logo and did all his own marketing, is a dab hand at spreadsheets, margins and business rates.

He proudly hands out business cards emblazoned with 'creative director' to fellow pupils at Swanbourne House School, Bucks.

And he already has big plans for the future.

As well as adding to his business portfolio he hopes to direct his own film after writing a screenplay featuring the characters from his sweet shop.

The schoolboy has gone into partnership with his mum Rebecca who runs an online confectionery store.

Henry, whose dad Julian, 52, works in marketing, said: "I started coming up with business ideas when I was five. I started selling manure and I loved it - even if it was a bit smelly.

"My friends couldn't believe it when I set up the sweet shop. But I don't think they were really surprised either because I've set up my other businesses before.

"No one knows the type of sweets that children like better than a child.

"I just love looking at the products there in front of me.

"The best part of the sweet shop is that I get to taste test all the sweets. My favourite one is the old fashioned liquorice straws. I get five per cent of what I make into my bank account and I try and spend it on things for the businesses.

"I want to try and carry on with this for the next ten years, but I want to set up more businesses after this one.

"I made a film about a tadpole that can't swim. I think I would like to be a film director when I'm older."

Photo credit: SWNS



































Henry has created a whole story around his sweet products with two central characters - Sherbet and Pip.

His jar containers come with pens so kids can doodle on their own designs and also include reward stickers for parents to give children who clean their teeth before bed.

Henry added: "I thought I didn't want to do just sweets so I came up with the idea of Sherbet and Pip.

"I really loved English at school and so I thought we should have a story to go along with the shop.

"I hate cleaning my teeth after I have eaten sweets but love getting stickers at the dentist. That's how I got the idea."

Henry has contributed his own product range to the site with sweet jars that include mud, worms and alien themed sweets.

Rebecca, a PR manager, set up her Sherbetpip.co.uk site as part of a programme with Bedfordshire County Council that shows young people how easy it can be to start a small business.

The pair are now in talks with producers at ITV's Saturday Night Takeaway about featuring the sweet jars in hampers to be given away at the show.

Proud Rebecca, 39, said: "Henry's got a business brain and thinks this venture is the start of other adventures.

"He could tell you how much everything costs and how much it costs to put together each jar.

"He has three ambitions. One is to make £10 from this business - which he's already achieved, one is to meet David Walliams and the other is to see his products sold in a big shop.

"He plans to keep this business going until he is 16 and all the money he makes is going into a bank account to help start any other future businesses.

"I'm really proud of him. But this is just how he works. He rings me from school and asks me if the site is live.

"But the only thing he is not allowed to do is pack the jars with sweets because of hygiene and health and safety.

"If he wants money he has to go out and try and make it himself."