How Sam Teale went from classroom trading to being named one Britain's most impressive young entrepreneurs

Throughout the history of The Yorkshire Post business section, our journalists have profiled people from all walks of life.

And while Sam Teale is almost likely to be among the youngest to have featured here, he is definitely one of the most enthusiastic.

Aged just 19 years old, the West Yorkshire videographer started his career as a schoolboy, arranging contracts while on toilet breaks between lessons with major clients.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

His young firm, Sam Teale Productions, only officially incorporated in 2020, has already won contracts with international clients and his work has been profiled on the BBC.

Sam Teale - picture by Bruce Rollinson

Read More

Read More
All today's Yorkshire business news

The award event at the Grosvenor Hotel, London was attended by some 660 finalists and saw the former Mirfield Free Grammar School pupil honoured amongst Britain’s hottest up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

The event capped a rollercoaster start to business for Mr Teale and even gave him the chance to meet Dragon’s Den judge Steven Bartlett – one of his absolute heroes.

Even though his business is brand new, it was the culmination of years of toil.

Sam Teale - picture by Bruce Rollinson

“I always used to say, ever since I was a kid, that I only ever want to work for myself,” he said, adding: “This job is the best job on the planet by far.

“I love it.”

Mr Teale’s interest in videography began when at primary school when YouTube began to become awash with self-taught broadcasters posting reviews of the latest technologies. He began experimenting himself, posting his own videos which he now derides as being “embarrassing”.

However, when aged around 14, he posted a review of a then relatively new service that effectively gave under 16s a debit card and taught them how to manage money effectively.

Sam Teale - pictures by Bruce Rollinson

The product was Go Henry, now considered one of the planet’s leading fintech firms. Someone from Go Henry found Mr Teale’s review and comment on it saying how much they liked it.

Mr Teale, still two years from his GCSEs, messaged back with a bold offer, saying he would be happy to produce their YouTube content for them.

The firm agreed and very soon Mr Teale was earning £50 a video while most children were working on paper rounds.

“I used to eat my dinner, run to the toilet and refresh my emails,” said Mr Teale.

“One day they sent me a request for four videos, meaning I had made £200 just like that. When you are a kid that is huge.”

Mr Teale saved the proceeds from these videos to invest in new equipment and began teaching himself more skills via online courses.

By the time he had concluded his end of school exams he faced a dilemma: further education or pursue the business.

While he did well at school, he found the structure and culture did not fit his personality, a common theme for entrepreneurs.

“I didn’t want to half-do college and half do the business,” he said.

“I knew that doing this would mean I was only doing things half as good as it could be. So I thought I would take a risk and go for it.”

The risk paid off. Two months after taking the plunge he was approached by Budweiser China.

Aged just 17, he was shooting footage inside Premier League football stadia.

“That was the time that I realised I made the right choice,” he said.

January 2020 marked the start of the first full year he was working for himself.

Come March, when he was in Liverpool shooting for a recruitment firm, the country was placed into lockdown.

However, Mr Teale was determined not daunted.

“During that lockdown period I posted a video on Instagram as soon as Boris closed the schools saying that we all need to use this time to better ourselves,” he said.

“I remember saying by the time I come out of lockdown I will be ten times better at videography.

“Once we got let out I really motored. After that we got really busy which continued into 2021.”

Another notable highlight came when the BBC reached out to him at the Batley and Spen by-election. As well as shooting video he even presented a section, giving his first time on broadcast TV.

Mr Teale said many of his client wins came from the simple act of being pushy.

“Working with a big client is one thing,” he said.

“A lot of the time it is about having the guys to reach out to these people.”

He uses the example of a big media company in Manchester who initially turned him down.

But, having attended an event of theirs in Leeds and having shown them his work, he won a contract.

“Message people, call them,” he said.

“You don’t know what it will lead to. It only takes five minutes.

“If you feel you are good enough to work with them then you probably are.”

Throughout this time, Mr Teale admits that he often suffered from imposter syndrome but he adds that the high profile of clients gave him confidence he was on the right track.

It all came to a head when he received the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, with his family in tow to see his achievement.

“Somehow I won it, which was just amazing,” he said.

“It was evidence I was doing something right.”

Mr Teale is now targeting an office in New York city and is looking to take on full-time staff this year, followed by apprenticeships, as well as being on track for his first television advert.

When asked what he wants to achieve in business, Mr Teale gives an answer that is less that of a teenager and more of a dyed-in-the-wool entrepreneur.

“I want to own the best video production company in the world,” he said.

“That is ambitious I know but the fact is that how we balance telling the story but with emotion is different to other people.”