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Young entrepreneurs on start-ups

Two young entrepreneur discuss their start-up ventures and the risks attached (and the benefits gained) from going solo
Written on 8/21/09

Joshua Prince

Joshua Prince: 23-year old director of Bella Stone

Prince set up his consultancy after being made redundant at CB Richard Ellis.

When meeting clients he often gets asked about his age. To make matters tougher, he has not been to university and does not belong to a ‘property family’.

However, with five years’ experience, he is confident about winning work. ‘Being in a large agency helps when you are dealing with large corporates,’ he says. ‘But when dealing with individual investors, as long as you can prove your services, it doesn’t matter.’

His first job on leaving school was with an east London developer, Aitch Group. After three years he joined CBRE.

He says: ‘I don’t have the security of a salary, but the fee I earn is for myself and not a company.’

It cost Prince close to £1,500 to form Bella Stone – including company registration fees, installing a phone line in the office, having business cards printed and subscribing to industry magazines. He wants to keep his costs low and so has already rented out his flat and moved in with his parents.

‘What’s the worse that could happen?’ Prince asks. ‘My business will not take off. I’m only 23 years old and I don’t have the responsibility of a family. There is risk involved but if it comes through there will be big returns.’

Ross Kemp: 28-year old founder of Kingsbury

‘It’s a good opportunity for new companies to launch in this market,’ says Kemp. ‘The economic climate is changing and the way in which we do deals is changing. It’s a time when we can rewrite agency rules.’

Kemp is the founder of the investment and development agency he launched in April 2009 after he resigned from Acorn.

The contacts from his previous employment have helped him establish two or three new clients, one of which is Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.

To win clients he is relying on the reputation he has built up over nearly a decade in the industry.
Kemp bypassed university and went straight into a property career. With the years he has spent in the property industry, he feels it will stand him in good stead.

‘You cannot get a degree in making deals,’ he says. ‘The experience has progressed my career quicker than continuing a university education would have.’

Read the full article in Property Week at The companies they keep.