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Schoolboy entrepreneurs support local business and tackle knife crime

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RB caught up with Roper, the managing director of the publishing firm, after school.

“Teenagers get a bad press,” he says. “People think that we’re all involved in knife crime. They think we’re all dangerous. I wanted to change their views by actually doing something for society. Our magazine promotes local businesses and helps the Calderdale community.”

LSR’s monthly magazine, the Calderdale Business Gazette, features adverts from local businesses and information about the Calderdale area. The free publication is stocked in WH Smiths, Tescos and the Co-op in Halifax, as well as a range of independent newsagents around Calderdale.

“We’re a proper business,” he says. “We’re registered with the Inland Revenue and we have big plans for growth. My long term strategy is to bring out magazines in other local districts.”

The fledgling company currently turns over £1,000 per month in advertising revenue. No wonder all of Roper’s classmates want to be involved.

“There are 200 kids in my year,” he says. “They all want to join the business. But I want to keep it just Liam and I for now. Though we do employ local schoolchildren to distribute leaflets.”

Roper’s entrepreneurial role model is none other than Richard Branson. And he credits show like The Apprentice and Dragons’ Den for getting him into business. “I was watching one of those shows when I had the idea,” he says. “I’d actually quite like to go on Dragons’ Den with this business. But it’s a bit scary for a 15-year-old.”

And what a 15-year-old! Roper is already giving talks on enterprise and innovation at the local school, Brooksbank Sports College, which he and Siddall both attend. “I think we’re pretty inspirational,” he says. “I think business could be a really big thing for young teenagers. It could help kids out of knife crime.”

Roper insists his schoolwork hasn’t suffered as a result of his venture, and that education is still very important to them both: “I want to go to college and do my A-Levels,” he says. “Then I’ll become a full-time entrepreneur.”

Related articlesDragons’ Den: Peter Jones gets soppyThe Apprentice: what a bunch of wannabe entrepreneursWhat’s our Raef up to, then?The Apprentice: where are they now?

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