They’re still at school and working towards their GCSEs – but they are already striking out in the work of business.
School pals Oscar Hunt and Luca O'Grady have set up their own business – and at the ages of just 15 and 16 respectively have now become the youngest members of Doncaster Chamber, the borough’s chamber of commerce.
Instead of setting out on paper rounds or working at the check-outs at supermarkets, the pals from Hill House School, in Finningley, set up Impact Media Management, offering packages to look after their clients on social media.
Oscar, aged 15, said: “We were thinking about what we could do as a business – we didn’t want to just earn pocket money doing paper rounds. We tried to think about what we could do as 16-year-olds, and thought about what we do most.
“Everyone uses social media these days, and we’ve grown up with it. We want to use our strength and knowledge in that area to help other businesses.
“At the end of the day, a 40-year-old may not know as much about social media as we do after growing up with it, so we thought we’d put our knowledge to good use.
“We’re still at school, but the businesses is nothing to do with school and we run it on the side in our spare time. I am doing my GCSEs.
“I’ve worked in administration in my aunt's nursery, but this is what I started because I don’t want to get up at the crack of dawn to do a paper round, and it was something I knew a lot about.
“We have joined Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, and through that we’ve met a lot of business owners. We’ve attended networking evenings. We’ve passed our details on to a lot of businesses out there.
“We have arranged meetings with people, and I think they have expected us to be aged around 30. We have turned up and people have have been really surprised how young we are.”
The pair work from their homes, rather than an office complex.
Oscar’s mum, Alison Jordan, is proud of that the pair have achieved.
She said: “Both of them have worked so hard. They identified a gap in the market, which was something that they know about.
“They have done the research and and visited businesses. It is a credit to their hard work that they have got where they are.
“They are having to manage it with their school work too, but they are doing that really well. There has been no history of running businesses in our family, and certainly not in that field.
“We have high hopes for them in the future.”
Their tender years have made some things more difficult for Oscar and Luca, with some processes not set up for young people.
One example has been that they have discovered that banks will not give business accounts to under 18s..
They have not been able to set up a business account, which they feel would feel more professional, meaning they are having to work through their personal accounts. They explain the issue to their clients when they meet them.
“It is more difficult trying to manage costs in an account where you have your personal money in there too,” said Oscar. “There must be other 16-year-olds who set up businesses, not just us.”
Oscar and Luca want to run their business as a long term project and feel that they are currently doing well. They plan to take their A-levels, but Oscar said they may consider going full time after that.
He said it would depend on how the business was doing at that point. Continuing the business while going through university would be another possibility he added.
“When we are sixth formers, we would get free periods during the day. That may be a chance to do some business work during the day time. .
“At present, we can only attend chamber of commerce meetings after school, so we miss out on events that they hold during the day.”
Doncaster Chamber has helped Oscar and Luca with their business plan and helped them get in touch with possible customers for their business, which sees them create and design websites as well as managing clients social media.
They already have more than half a dozen clients listed on their own website.