ladbible logo

To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

University dropout Steven Bartlett went from scavenging pizzas to earning £10,000 an hour

University dropout Steven Bartlett went from scavenging pizzas to earning £10,000 an hour

Steven Bartlett is now known as the youngest Dragon, but in a previous life he was scavenging pizzas and taking scraps from takeaways.

After realising university wasn't for him just minutes into his first business management lecture at Manchester Metropolitan University, resulting in him dropping out without a plan, it's safe to say Steven Bartlett has done pretty well for himself.

Best known as the youngest investor on BBC's Dragons Den and host of the hugely popular The Diary Of A CEO podcast, Bartlett has previously revealed that his minimum fee for event bookings is "in the region of £10,000-£20,000 per hour."

Many just assume the 30-year-old has lived a life full of glamour, one that has always entailed a lot of money.

However, that is certainly not the case as Bartlett used to shoplift pizza and scavenge for leftovers at a takeaway restaurant in his younger days.

Speaking to the i Newspaper, Bartlett reflected on his childhood and the financial restrictions that came his family's way.

"My mum started various businesses including salons and shops, and I have memories of bailiffs coming and refusing to leave," he said.

Steven Bartlett went from scavenging pizzas to earning £10,000 an hour.
Karwai Tang/WireImage

He continued: "Things were OK until I was about 10, then they deteriorated and my parents spent maybe seven years teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. There were no more Christmas or birthday presents, and we never went on holiday on a plane.

"My brother Jason smashed his own bedroom window kicking a football, and it remained smashed for at least five years.

"The back garden was full of fridges. People dumped them there, because it looked like a dumping ground. The garden grew over these objects and became really tall to the point where we wouldn’t go into the back garden anymore."

All of this led to Bartlett never inviting any of his friends round his house as he was too 'embarrassed'.

Those financial difficulties continued as Bartlett went through his teens, as he explained: "Over a two year period, I probably worked in six or seven call centres in Manchester.

"I’d quit or get fired, because I was distracted with building my businesses, so I was in and out of work.

The financial difficulties did not stop when the Dragon became an adult.
Antony Jones/Getty Images for Gymshark

"I lived anywhere I could get cheap rent. I’d be above a Chinese takeaway, then I’d stay somewhere else for two weeks.

"I’d pay almost nothing, but even when it was £150 a month, I’d sometimes have to ask my dad to help me pay the rent."

The Dragon admitted that at his lowest point he considered Jobseeker’s Allowance, while he was issued with two CCJs [County Court Judgments] for not paying various things back.

That subsequently destroyed Bartlett's credit score, something he has only managed to claw back in recent years.

"Even at 27 when I was running a big business with a lot of financial resources, all I could get was a £100 booster credit card," he said.

Featured Image Credit: BBC / Diary of a CEO