Wise’s 20 Under 20: meet the UK & Ireland’s top teen CEOs


Having searched far and wide to identify the most innovative, determined and promising of the UK and Ireland’s young business talent, the search is over.

Their businesses span everything from dog food and boot cleaning to the tenth largest estate agent in the UK. The young people behind them represent the brightest entrepreneurial talent in the UK and Ireland.

The group has been chosen by a star panel of leading entrepreneurs, investors and advisors. All the winners will receive mentoring, borderless business accounts and £1 million worth of fee-free international payments.

Alongside Wise Chairman Taavet Hinrikus, the judges included Deliveroo CEO and co-founder, Will Shu; Secret Escapes co-founder and COO, Tom Valentine; Brolly CEO and founder, Phoebe Hugh; WAH Nails founder and columnist, Sharmadean Reid; and renowned investor and entrepreneur Robin Klein.

The top five young founders, as chosen by the judges, were given the chance to pitch to Wise’s co-founder Taavet. The prize was a once in a lifetime investment opportunity of £10,000, during a pitching training and mentoring trip to Estonia – one of the world’s most successful start-up nations.


The winner of the investment is Rose Dyson, founder of Pura Cosmetics, who impressed Taavet with her strong sales pipeline and clear understanding of the ethical beauty industry. Now 18 years old, Rose from Yorkshire founded her business producing ethical lip balms with only £25 investment. Last year she turned over £50,000.

The remaining top five of the 20 under 20 are:

Arminder Dhillon, Boot Buddy

17 years old, London – founded Boot Buddy to clean his muddy football boots at age 11 and is projecting 800k turnover for 2018. He is the youngest person ever to receive backing on Dragon’s Den, aged 15, from Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden and Touker Suleyman.

Will Shu, CEO and co-founder of Deliveroo, said: “With Boot Buddy, Arminder has created something rare – a genuinely useful and clever product, which I can see doing really well.

Akshay Ruparelia, Doorsteps

19 years old, London – founder of online estate agent Doorsteps.co.uk, currently the 14th largest in the UK with over 2,500 properties from across the UK on the platform.

Tom Valentine, co-founder and COO of Secret Escapes, said: “Akshay has got traction in a huge market and has built a very clear brand.”

Callum Griffiths, Clydach Farm Group

19 years old, Wales – the director of Clydach Farm Group which manufactures healthy dry pet food for dogs sold across the UK and internationally. He first created his signature poultry feed on the farm when he was just 13 years old.

Robin Klein said: “Callum really knows his product and his market. He has built a great business at such a young age, showing originality and impressive drive.”

Kate and Annie Madden, FenuHealth

18 and 16 years old, Ireland – the owners of FenuHealth, providing performance supplements for race horses and camels, with customers in 15 countries including five royal families.

Phoebe Hugh, CEO and founder of Brolly, said: “Kate and Annie have created an extraordinary international business. These young sisters are hugely inspirational and have aggressive plans for expansion - I look forward to seeing how they progress.”

You can see the full list of our 20 Under 20 here

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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