Teenager makes £100,00 thanks to Covid-era business idea

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A new generation of business people has grown up, started companies and thrived due to the conditions of Covid. Some are speaking out about their successes in starting businesses with one young person making his first £100,000 by the time he was 19 years old.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Charles Robinson, the founder of Gelcard – a premium hand sanitiser that he launched during lockdown to help encourage hand hygiene.

The then-19 year old created the company when taking time off from university and within six months has made a six-figure profit.

Currently, Mr Robinson is supplying top hotel chains in the UK, including The Wolseley and Park Plaza, as well as organisations such as the Corbin & King Restaurant Group.

On top of this, Geldcard is also sold directly to the customer and has proven to be widely successful with the young entrepreneur making £100,000 within the first couple of months.

He explained: “The reason I started the business was because I knew everyone was talking about hand sanitiser. It was not like I was incredibly early, it was more of just being very quick.

“In the first month or so I wasn’t sure how it was going to work but I just viewed it as having very little to lose. There was a tremendous upside and very little downside.

“I was 19 at the time. My first year in university was cancelled due to Covid. I just thought, ‘The worst that happens here, Charles, is that you just work really hard for six months, and you learn a lot but you don’t make any money’.

“But within maybe four to six weeks, we were actually at Park Plaza, which is part of a Marriott group, they were literally our first customer, which was like a huge billion-dollar company, so that was a real big validation early on.”

Following his success with Gelcard, Mr Robinson is currently in the midst of setting up his next business venture, Water2 – a sustainable water technology company.

Due to this, he is looking back on his previous success with Gelcard to determine how he exactly created a business which makes a lot of money.

Thanks to Linkedin during the pandemic, the businessman was able to quickly ascertain how Covid was disrupting the private sector with the furlough scheme, redundancies and changes to how people worked.

Seeing room in the market for a hand sanitiser, the entrepreneur seized the opportunity and hopes to strike similar success with his new business.

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Looking back, Mr Robinson added: “I had no capacity as an entrepreneur before. I was never selling sweets in the playground or into crypto, I was very much a hard-working student.

“I didn’t have much idea of what was successful or not. Maybe the first deal we got from Park Plaza was £6,000 to £7,000, which looking back was a huge first order for a young company.

“We were on that sort of level for maybe a few weeks. But, I said to myself, it’s not a real company until you’ve made £100,000. Until then, I felt I couldn’t take myself seriously.

“I took myself off social media and focused until we hit £100,000 and we hit that amount, maybe within five or six months, while still 19.”

He was able to achieve this despite having no budget for marketing, instead relying on LinkedIn for networking and promotion.

Sharing advice for those looking to follow in his footsteps, he said: “You have to tell yourself, at least for an extended period of time, that you have no other option.

“The only way that I’ve been able to do things is to tell myself that there are no other options and there’s no Plan B.

“You’ve got to put everything into it, every bit of resource. You have to make it work. Until then, I would find it hard to imagine that you’d be successful.”

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