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Sir Alan Sugar

Sir Alan Sugar was born to working class parents in the East End.Sir Alan Sugar

– Began his career as a civil service statistician
– Started up on his own selling everything from vegetables to computer aerials
– Launched Amstrad aged 21

Having left school at 16, Alan Michael Sugar’s entrepreneurial career temporarily stalled when he took a job as a statistician in the civil service. He then decided to strike out on his own, and started selling anything he could get his hands on – starting with vegetables – out of the back of his van. He then went on to sell car aerials, launching his own company Alan Michael Sugar Trading (Amstrad) at the age of 21.

Then, seeing the potential for profit, he went into the manufacturing business, starting off with turntable covers in the 1970s. What he realised early on in his business career was that being able to make something with a high retail value from cheap component parts was bound to make a lot of money. This basic entrepreneurial concept ended up making Sir Alan millions when, in 1986, he launched the Amstrad word processor.