Dragon’s Den Steven Barlett attributes neglect from his Nigerian mum and British dad to his success as a millionaire

Home / Black brits / Dragon’s Den Steven Barlett attributes neglect from his Nigerian mum and British dad to his success as a millionaire

Steven Bartlett credits his millionaire status to his parents, who was always too busy working, when he was a child.

Source: StevenBartlett/YouTibe

The half Nigerian, half British millionaire opened up to Loose Women panellists, saying his parents was always too busy working because money was very tight and they were ‘really broke’ when he was around ten years old.

He told the panellist; “My mum is the hardest working person I have ever met, she would sleep in her office on the floor, in her shop on the floor, wake up, run the shop then go back to sleep on the floor in the back room on a bag of rice in Plymouth”.

The 29 year old got huge independence from his parents missing all the time. By 14 years of age, trying to make money for his lunch, he did a deal with a vending machine company to fill his whole school with vending machines – it is how he started his company.

He fell so behind in his studies as a result that half the school wanted him expelled, while the other half wanted to retain him for his selling skills.

Steven as a baby with his parents and siblings. Source: Steven Barlett/Twitter

At aged 18 years old, he dropped out of a Business Management course at Manchester Metropolitan University to start another business called Wallpark – a social media website for students with common interests to connect with one another.

Speaking to This Morning presenters, Philip Scholfield and Holly Willoughby on how he started, he said; “I gave a kid £50 for a facebook page one day, posted on it, realised it was driving hundreds of people, went round the country in 2012/2013, met many young kids with around 7 to 8 million followers built from their bedroom, hired all of them and that’s what created the social media chain”.

By age just 26, he was valued at around £70 million by Forbes, named Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list and won many prestigious prices.

Steven was born in Botswana, and raised in Plymouth from aged two by his mother, Esther and father, Graham. He is the youngest of four children who all lived ‘poor’ in a rich neighbourhood.

He started watching Dragon’s Den aged 12. He would pause the TV and pretend he was the 6th dragon. He applied to pitch on the show aged 18 but never heard back from them.

One day, he sent out a message to all of his team members expressing his interest to do Dragon’s Den, 60 days later he received an email from the BBC inviting him to have a meeting.

10 years to the week he had applied to pitch, he became the youngest dragon in the den, replacing Tej Lalvani.

Bartlett now owns The Social Chain and Media Chain – which is currently values at £300 million, The CEO Podcast, Flight Story & Thirdweb.

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