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Britain's youngest billionaire who started business aged 19 named as one of the richest people under 35

Tom Wood

| Last updated 

Britain's youngest billionaire who started business aged 19 named as one of the richest people under 35

Britain’s youngest billionaire has been named in fourth place on The Times Rich List for people under 35 years of age.

What’s more, he’s made his money mostly all by himself, after starting his own business at the age of 19.

There’s two things to note here - first off, no-one is truly a ‘self-made billionaire’ as they still need the help and hard work of loads of other people to get to where they get to.

Secondly, he was first named as a billionaire by Forbes, who work in American currency.


In British pounds and pence he’s merely a multi-multi-multi-millionaire.

His fortune is around £900 million in UK terms.

I’m certain he’s absolutely crushed by that fact.

Time is definitely on Ben Francis' side, though.

Gymshark founder Ben Francis. Credit: Instagram/@benfrancis
Gymshark founder Ben Francis. Credit: Instagram/@benfrancis

Francis started Gymshark from his parents’ garage near Birmingham, working at the start using a sewing machine bought for him by his grandma, but has quickly built up the business to be one of the world’s largest fitness brands, worn by celebrities the world over and now sold in bespoke Gymshark shops as well as online.

Not bad, given that he’s still only 30.

The sports and fitness brand is still headquartered in Solihull, and is going from strength to strength.


It’s worth more than a billion quid, making Francis’ 70 percent stake in the business worth a load of cash.

He sold a 21 percent stake to private equity firm General Atlantic for $300 million (£240 million) not so long ago.

In 2022, he launched the first shop selling only the Gymshark brand, on London’s Regent Street.

However, it has not all been plain sailing for Francis.


In 2020 there was a video released that showed Francis appearing to snort some white powder with friends.

He had to address the speculation, and eventually released a statement that read: "Four years ago, I was a young guy. I got caught up in a moment and made a stupid mistake that I massively regret.”

It was just a setback, though.

Since then, things have got progressively better for Gymshark and Francis.


Elsewhere on the under-35s rich list, the number one spot belongs to the Duke of Westminster, who inherited a huge load of land and property when he was 25 and is worth £9.878billion.

Ben Francis is still only 30. Credit: Instagram/@benfrancis
Ben Francis is still only 30. Credit: Instagram/@benfrancis

Next up is Lady Charlotte Wellesley, another member of the landed gentry who inherited a load of stuff and is worth £2.167billion.

Then, there’s entrepreneur Johnny Boufarhat, an Aussie-born businessman who created the virtual eventing platform Hopin - he’s worth more than £1.7 billion.

Underneath Francis and the others, there are some more recognisable names, though none can quite boast the fortune of the Gymshark owner and those above him.

Ed Sheeran has £300 million, golfer Rory McIlroy has £200 million, and Adele has £165 million.

Further down, there are places for the likes of Harry Styles, Daniel Radcliffe, Dua Lipa, and Gareth Bale.

Perhaps they should start up their own fitness clothing brands if they want to hang with the big dogs, though.

Featured Image Credit: @benfrancis/Instagram

Topics: UK News, Money

Tom Wood
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