Featured

A right little Alan ‘SUGAR’: Pupil, 15, who built a £50,000-a-year tuck shop empire from the boys’ toilets is now being mentored by an Apprentice star

  • Nathan John-Baptiste went on This Morning to discuss how he built his empire
  • He chatted to Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield about past and future plans
  • Nathan started business in year seven and expanded to make up to £230 a day
  • Talented teen is being mentored by 2016 Apprentice contestant Paul Sullivan

A 15-year-old entrepreneur nicknamed the ‘Wolf of Walthamstow’ is being mentored by a former star of the Apprentice.

Nathan John-Baptiste, from east London, has made thousands from building a sweet and fizzy drinks empire and selling his products across three schools.

After starting with just £5, the schoolboy’s impressive weekly turnover of £1,150 has allowed him to lead a lavish lifestyle of meals out and trips up the Shard.

He appeared on ITV’s This Morning to discuss his secrets to success and told presenters Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby his plans for the future.

The teen is studying for his GCSEs and is being advised by Paul Sullivan, who appeared on last year’s series of the BBC’s Apprentice.

Nathan said: ‘At the moment I’m mentoring with Paul Sullivan, who was on the Apprentice, who has really helped me out a lot.’

Mr Sullivan calls himself a ‘growth coach and marketing expert’ and runs the In Bound Marketing Academy.

Seemingly referring to Nathan’s success, he tweeted last week: ‘Can’t say I’m not a little bit chuffed that one of my mentees has started turning over £1000 week selling sweets and he’s still at school.’

He then added: ‘I know this one has great potential I just need him to stay in school.’

He later said: ‘Nice to see my mentee Nathan #wolfofwalthamstow on #gmtv this morning.’ 

Mr Sullivan lost his chance to win the £250,000 prize money in the twelfth series of the BBC show when he failed to lead his team Nebula to success in an event organising task.

At the time, Lord Sugar said: ‘Paul, I think that you made a very, very big error in the pricing strategy, and you can’t lose your rag every single time something goes wrong.’ 

But it seems since then Mr Sullivan has been putting his energy into young talent, and is focusing on helping Nathan John-Baptiste realise his entrepreneurial potential. 

Nathan explained that during a talk from a millionaire he attended as part of a development programme to keep him on the right path at school, he learnt about how to make money and how to work hard.

He said: ‘From year seven I was going down the wrong path. But this guy called Carl came in. I thought, I want to be like him.’

That same day, Nathan starting buying and selling sweets to his fellow students from the boys’ toilets and his business, Walking Talking Shop, began.

He employed one friend to help sell things in his first year of break time trading, and expanded as demand sky rocketed. 

As a year ten pupil, Nathan employed 11 people to help with sales.

He told the Sun that many pupils made orders of Lucozade, Chewits, KitKats and Fruit Pastilles via Snapchat before picking up the treats at break time.

But the school found out about the business and requested that Nathan stop the sales.

If Nathan had continued to make sales of up to £230 a day he would have made £50,000 in a year.

He told MailOnline: ‘They asked me to stop selling bits at school.I did my punishment in the isolation room for a couple of days.

‘So I’ll start investing in different things – I can’t sell sweets for the rest of my life.

‘I would like to become a stock broker – that’s one place where I want to put my money – and in property, 100 per cent.

‘The plan is to become a millionaire. It’s just about the hard work.’

Nathan admitted that he lives a lavish lifestyle and has spent a lot of his earnings- but he has managed to save £5,000 so far.

He said: ‘I like eating in the Shard.’

Nathan added that his friends have shown him support rather than trying to take advantage of the wads of £20 notes he carries around. 

He said: ‘No one sees me in a different way. My friends are my friends, and they do not judge me on how well I do.

‘No one takes advantage of me. The amount of support I get from my contacts is crazy.’

He said he has even been invited back to the primary school he was excluded from to do a speech about entrepreneurship for the pupils.

Nathan’s school has broken up for the summer holidays now, but he’s using the spare time to further his career prospects.

He is currently undertaking a two-week work experience placement with a door to door property sales company.

He said: ‘I’m doing property today in Stoke Newington, going door to door to try to sell estate agent services – I’ll hopefully get some commission too.

‘I’ve been doing it on Saturdays for a while now but now I have two weeks of work experience.’

Nathan’s mother Sharon, 43, who works in the transport industry, said that part of the reason Nathan started selling things was his desire to make money before he could legally be employed by anyone.

She said: ‘He was disappointed when he could not get a job. They kept telling him, “come back when you’re older”.

‘That’s when he decided to sell bath products, handmade soaps and bath bombs.’

She added: ‘He did go off the rails at the end of primary school and he’s had quite a few people helping him to get to where he is.

‘The school have been very supportive.

‘Of his entrepreneurial skills, I’m very proud. He’s a very strong-willed child.’

She added that she was pleased to see her son working hard and earning money in a legitimate way, because she worries that other entrepreneurial children of Nathan’s age could be tempted into drug dealing.

She said: ‘There are drugs everywhere, even in schools.’

Nathan lives in Walthamstow with his mother, his engineer father Peter, 46, and his younger brother.

Speaking of his parents, Nathan said: ‘They have always instilled in me that you have to work hard for your money and that’s something I’ve done since I was in year four when I set up a very small cup cake business – I only made about £25.’ 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *