Teenage entrepreneur from Yorkshire ranks among best in the UK

FIFTEEN-year-old Rose Dyson decided to set up a business inside her family's kitchen because she was tired of seeing Yorkshire shoppers being forced to pay 'extortionate' prices for lip balms.

Rose Dyson, founded Pura Cosmetics, a range of ethical lip balms, with only £25 investment.
Rose Dyson, founded Pura Cosmetics, a range of ethical lip balms, with only £25 investment.

Three years later, her vision and ambition have earned her a place among the top young business people in Britain.

Ms Dyson, from Barnsley, launched Pura Cosmetics, which produces a range of ethical lip balms, with a £25 investment in 2015. Last year, the business turned over £50,000.

She has now been included among the top five teenage entrepreneurs in the country in a competition run by Transferwise, the fintech business. The payments company TransferWise searched the country to identify the 20 most promising CEOs, aged 16-19, who have the ability to become international success stories.

One of the judges of the competition was the investor and adviser Robin Klein, General Partner and co-founder of LocalGlobe.

He said: “Rose lives her business and has developed an original range of products – originality in the beauty business is really important.”

The other judges chosen to select the “20 Under 20” included Deliveroo CEO and co-founder, Will Shu; Secret Escapes co-founder and COO, Tom Valentine; Brolly CEO and founder, Phoebe Hugh and WAH Nails founder and columnist, Sharmadean Reid.

TransferWise was created by Skype’s first employee Taavet Hinrikus and his co-founder Kristo Käärmann.

The company launched in 2011 and is now one of the world’s most successful fintechs having raised $397m from investors, including Sir Richard Branson, and Pay Pal co-founders Max Levchin and Peter Thiel.

Ms Dyson was also chosen as one of the top five young entrepreneurs and received the opportunity to pitch to Mr Hinrikus for up-to £10,000 of no-strings attached investment, during a trip to Estonia.

Ms Dyson’s pitch was successful and she plans to use the cash to grow her business.

Ms Dyson, who is now 18, told The Yorkshire Post that she decided to establish Pura Cosmetics after spotting a gap in the market for lip balm.

“I thought the price was really extortionate,’’ she said.

“I started manufacturing from my kitchen.”

Initially she made and sold 25 lip balms. She put the proceeds back into the business and started to sell her products on local markets.

She said she was delighted to secure the investment, adding: “I can do so much more in terms of capacity, especially in the run-up to Christmas.”

She plans to start supplying shops next year and hopes in the longer term to reach international markets.

Ms Dyson said she wanted to inspire other young entrepreneurs who wanted to follow in her footsteps.

“You should just go for it, you’ve got nothing to lose and don’t be afraid to ask for help,’’ she said.

TransferWise co-founder and chairman, Taavet Hinrikus, said: “There’s an astounding level of determination and creativity out there amongst young people, our 20 Under 20 proves that. But growing a business globally is a journey that needs a lot of support, and without the benefit of wide networks built from years of career experience, it can be tough for teen CEOs to find those people to lean on. We want to help the brightest teen talent with practical support.”