On 6th February 2021, the Young Entrepreneur Summit is due to take place, headlining an impressive array of individuals who have achieved outstanding success in their field. Included among them is Akshay Ruparelia, the youngest millionaire in the UK.
This special not-for-profit is being supported by the Rob Moore Foundation. Founded in 2017, the Rob Moore Foundation aims to support underprivileged youth to receive better quality education on finance and business, as well as providing practical support with global enterprises.
The Young Entrepreneur Summit will take place between 11am to 9pm GMT and will feature seven headliners, including Akshay Ruparelia. As a young entrepreneur who started a multi-mill-million pound business from his bedroom, Ruparelia is the perfect example of what can be achieved.
A Modest Start
It’s easy to dismiss the possibility of launching your own business, due to a lack of funds, experience or resources, but Akshay Ruparelia’s rise to the top shows that everything is possible with the right approach and determination.
When he was just 16, Ruparelia created a property app which the following year he would develop into Doorsteps, an estate agency with a difference which is now valued at £18 million.
However, Ruparelia wasn’t a schoolboy with privileged roots. Son of Kenyan immigrants forced out of their country, he cites his parents as his biggest inspiration, watching from a young age as they both worked hard to provide for the family. Both of Akshay Ruparelia’s parents and one of his sisters are deaf, demonstrating that it’s possible to overcome any barrier to success.
Ruparelia describes having a lifelong interest in trading, starting when he was at school, swapping sweets for a better deal. This entrepreneurial spirit grew over the years but it wasn’t until he was involved with the sale of his parents’ home at the age of 11 that the first roots of an idea started to form.
Continuing for several years, and passing his GCSEs, Ruparelia took everything he’d learned so far and took the first teetering steps to join the world of estate agency. Along with some classmates who had a passion for coding, Ruparelia created an app which approached selling a house in a completely new way.
The following year, still only 17 years old and working out of his bedroom at home, Ruparelia realized he could improve on the self-service app. It was at this point that Doorsteps was born.
With Doorsteps, Ruparelia intended to completely overhaul what he describes as the “draconian” world of estate agency where sellers are forced to pay thousands of pounds. A simple concept, Doorsteps offered to sell homes in return for a fee of just £99.
Although Ruparelia was confident that his concept was sound, getting house-hunters to buy into the concept was another matter. However, he needn’t have worried because shortly after launching his business, his first sale went through. Ruparelia heard the news that a five-bedroom house with a swimming pool had sold through Doorsteps while on a lunch break at school. His first seller then went on to use Doorsteps to sell more land, giving the fledgling business a big boost.
Having tested the concept on a small scale, Ruparelia was determined to go big. Borrowing money from relatives and crowdfunding enabled him to launch a professional website, and create a Doorsteps business which went beyond the walls of his teenage bedroom.
Fast-forward to the modern day and Doorsteps is a phenomenal success. Ruparelia is still only 22 years old, but he is the youngest millionaire in the UK. In its first three years, Doorsteps sold homes worth more than £1 billion combined value, and is now the third largest estate agency in the UK. It turns over more than £1 million every year and Ruparelia remains passionate about the venture, aiming to eventually take the top spot for UK estate agencies.
Innovating the Kickstart Scheme
Although Akshay Ruparelia remains personally involved with Doorsteps, he has since expanded into other ventures. AKR Growth is an approved Kickstart gateway, helping businesses to access the scheme while providing employment to those aged between 16-24.
As an approved DWP gateway, AKR Growth doesn’t cost the business a penny and helps with recruitment and training of the candidates. Although the government has made funding available through the Kickstart scheme, many businesses struggle to access it due to the excessive administrative requirements. Ruparelia has created a company which has the experience to mediate for businesses, providing all of the benefits without passing on any costs.
Hot Tips for Budding Entrepreneurs
Ruparelia is keen to encourage others to follow in his footsteps. He strongly believes that the current archaic system of grading exams is no longer fit for purpose and doesn’t recognize the skills that the youth of today hold.
Despite this, he suggests focusing on schooling and education and following a passion for entrepreneurial ventures alongside studies. This may sound like an impossible task but Ruparelia is proof that it’s perfectly possible for anyone who has the drive. Time management however is key, and he recommends ensuring that you focus on activities which will add real value. This can be difficult to be disciplined about, because when you have enthusiasm it’s hard to be restrained. But by focusing your energy on the areas which will bring the best rewards, Ruparelia says that it’s possible to juggle education and entrepreneurship.
When you are ready to launch your business fully, it’s advisable to conduct a small test first. Ruparelia cautions against investing heavily in an idea which hasn’t been trialed in the market. By taking a concept into the marketplace, it makes it possible to hone and tweak the idea to ensure the greatest possible success.
Ruparelia may have already achieved great success, but he keeps an open mind, believing that it’s possible to learn something new from every person you meet.
Find out more about Akshay Ruparelia’s unique strategies which have fueled his success at the Young Entrepreneur Summit on 6th February 2021.