Published: 12:00, 29 October 2015
A 17-year-old businessman is rubbing shoulders with Sir Richard Branson and Lord Sugar after breaking into the top 50 of a list of Britain’s high-profile entrepreneurs.
Ben Towers, who employs 15 people at his web company Towers Design, which he launched aged 11, has shot up the Richtopia British Entrepreneurs Top 100 table.
The young entrepreneur, from Oak Avenue, Gillingham, moved up from 64th last year to 34th on the 2015 list, which also features Victoria Beckham and former Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis.
He has climbed faster than any other entrant, having made headlines this year after leaving Rainham Mark Grammar School and hiring himself as an apprentice at his own company rather than go to sixth form.
Mr Towers has just moved his firm into a new office in the Medway Innovation Centre in Chatham, where he hopes a future sales team will be based.
He said: “It’s great to be recognised in a list that includes so many people I’ve always looked up to. The next step is to break into the top 10.”
As well as running his company, Mr Towers works as a role model for other young people interested in business and speaks at seminars and conferences.
He said: “I think it’s often a surprise for people when I walk onto stage but I’m living proof that age is not a barrier to success – it’s a universal message that people are inspired by.”
Richtopia British Entrepreneurs Top 100
1. Richard Branson
2. Victoria Beckham
3. Lord Sugar
4. Theo Paphitis
5. Nigel Lythgoe
6. Duncan Bannatyne
7. Chad Hurley
8. Deborah Meaden
9. Peter Jones
10. Pete Cashmore
34. Ben Towers