This week The Fetch London curator Chloe Nicholls interviews Harry Maxwell, one of the semi-finalists of The Young Apprentice to find out about his experiences as a teenage entrepreneur and what the future holds for his online business, the Luxury Five Star Hotel Guide.
Name: Harry Maxwell
At only 16, you were selected to be a contestant on The Young Apprentice last year. What was that experience like?
Pretty overwhelming really. I was always really interested and a huge fan on the show so it was incredibly exciting to be a part of it all. I enjoyed testing my abilities at the difference tasks and it was fantastic to reach the semi-final and leave having a good rapport with Lord Sugar, Karren and Nick.
Any words of wisdom that you took from Sir Alan Sugar?
I’d have been a fool not to listen to Lord Sugar. He is after all incredibly successful. I think the main thing I learnt was the importance of having a brand and standing for something; particularly when it comes to products.
Tell us more about your business idea ‘The Luxury Five Star Hotel Guide’?
It’s a website acting as a directory for England’s 5* hotels. You can browse it, read my reviews, and ultimately book through an independently research best priced travel agent; of which I’m given 12% commission.
With plenty of other online review sites for hotels and accommodation, such as TripAdvisor, Hotels.com and VirtualTourist, how do you think your site will compete in an already very crowded market and what makes it different?
Our USP is that we’re the only website featuring all of England’s 5* hotels and have narrowed ourselves to just 5* hotels defining us a very clear target market.
What are some of the challenges you are facing as a teenage entrepreneur?
I don’t really think my age has hindered me actually. You know I may only be 18, but if I send an email who’s to know how old I am? The beauty of an online business!
Are there any networking events in London you would recommend?
I don’t really attend networking events. Right now I’ve got a plan and I’m following it. LinkedIn is great for making contacts in general, but I don’t attend any events and won’t be doing so until the future.
Since appearing on The Young Apprentice, what opportunities have opened up for you? What are you working on now?
I actually had the most job offers out of all the candidates. I had 5 offers of university sponsorship from FTSE companies. Right now I‘ve got internships lined up with Coutts, Credit Suisse, Ernst and Young and Citigroup. I’m also finishing my A-Levels while expanding my business and working on a secret project. Hopefully I will be studying Economics and Geography at LSE in September.