2018 is certainly an exciting time to be young and ambitious, particularly in Britain. Developments all over the country in recent years have led to innovations, and opportunities, in all kinds of industries. In London, the East End has been completely transformed thanks to the Olympics back in 2012; the once derelict area around Stratford is now a bustling sporting metropolis. Elsewhere in the sports world, Leicester City shocked the country by coming out top in the Premiere League – an outcome that started out with book-maker odds of 5,000 to 1 at the beginning of the year. Also two years ago, Hull, a city previously synonymous with underachievement surprised everyone by laying on a huge array of artistic and theatrical events as part of the City of Culture. In tech, Buzzfeed created, well, a buzz, by opening a London office in 2015, followed this year by Pinterest. It feels like all over Britain, young, brilliant, talented individuals are doing more impressive things than ever before.
Here are some of the most successful people in the UK, all under 30 and each top of their selected fields. 7 outstanding people from 7 different industries; get ready to be inspired.
Anthony Joshua, Boxer
At only 28 years old, Anthony Joshua has quickly become the most well-known boxer in Britain. Since 2016, he has held the IBF title of heavyweight champion. In 2010 he won the ABA Champions, but rather than accept the £50,000 prize, he decided to turn it down to go professional, later telling a journalist: “Turning down that £50,000 was easy. I didn’t take up the sport for money, I want to win medals.” He was born in London and lives in Watford.
Lily Cole, Model and Actress
Lily Cole became a model aged only 14, first appearing on the cover of British Vogue aged only 16. Juggling her modelling career with her education, she attended Cambridge University in 2006, graduating with a double first class degree in Social and Political Sciences. Cole made the move into acting in 2007 with a major role in the remake of St Trinian’s, starring alongside Rupert Everett, Colin Firth and Stephen Fry.
Emma Watson, Actress and Spokesperson
Emma Watson, best known for her starring role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movie series, is a UN Goodwill Ambassador. In 2014 she was instrumental in setting up the UN Women advocacy campaign HeForShe.
Jason Kenny, Olympian
Jason Kenny is a British track cyclist and is currently the joint holder of the highest number of gold Olympic medals of any British athlete (along with Chris Hoy, fellow track cyclist). Kenny won his first Olympic gold in the 2012 London Olympics, also setting a new world record with a time of 42.6 seconds at London’s brand new VeloPark.
Jamal Edwards, Film-maker
Jamal Edwards is a British film-maker turned millionaire who founded the grime and hiphop channel sb.tv in 2006. Run by a team of young people, the channel, which recently diversified into events with partners including Bestival and Wireless, has an annual turnover of just over £7m.
Carl Silverstone, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
The most successful young entrepreneur in the UK started his first business at 12 and wrote a best-selling e-book at only 16. London-based Silverstone now owns the renowned marketing agency Alpine Studios. Prior to this he worked with international charity UNICEF on fundraising efforts and developed entrepreneurial fund-raising techniques for other major charities.
Pete Cashmore, Website Developer
Pete Cashmore is the founder of online news site Mashable, which launched in 2005. Today, the New York based publication has a readership of 45million and a social following of 28million.
Having already achieved so much, you might think these impressive young self-starters would be ready to put their feet up, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. As the saying goes: “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” These go-getters will definitely be continuing and it’s clear that the future holds even more exciting success for them all.
Nicole Hicks a graduate of UFT. She’s based in Toronto but travels much of the year. Nicole has written for NPR, Motherboard, MSN Money, and the Huffington Post. Nicole is a financial reporter, focusing on technology, national security, and policing.