Black Entrepreneur Who Dropped out of School to Build a Social Media Agency Agrees $9million Sale to Rival

Steven Bartlett
Steven Bartlett


The Dragons’ Den star Steven Bartlett’s social media business, Social Chain, has agreed to sell the company for at least $9 million (£7.7 million). Brave Bison, a social and digital media company, announced the agreement.

The 30-year-old started the Social Chain in Manchester in 2014 when he was only 18 years old, and he will stand down as CEO in 2020. It is unknown whether he kept a stake in the corporation.

According to ITV, he expanded the firm he began from his bedroom into a $600 million enterprise with 122 employees and offices in Manchester, London, and New York. Furthermore, Social Chain has done social media advertising with brands such as Amazon, TikTok, and Apple Beats, as well as influencer marketing.

His company’s success propelled him to become the youngest ever investor on BBC’s hit programme “Dragon’s Den,” a show he unsuccessfully auditioned to be a contestant on 10 years earlier.

In 2020, he was named one of Forbes’ 30 under 30 emerging entrepreneurs to watch.

For Barlett, who dropped out of school and once stole food from corner stores, becoming an entrepreneur and business owner has not been easy. Bartlett, who was born in Botswana to a Nigerian mother and a British father, did not have the lovely things that other people had. That signaled to him that he needed to forge his own route to success.

According to The Guardian, his family had financial difficulties when they migrated to a middle-class suburb in Plymouth, Devon, for a fresh start. His family’s financial difficulties and his own experience with scarcity as a young boy inspired him to strive for greater heights and a better life in the near future.

He started his own firm after studying business management at Manchester Metropolitan University. He made a fortune by organizing school trips and negotiating contracts with vending machine firms, and he took a percentage. He later dropped out of school after only one lecture to focus on entrepreneurship.

“You’ve got the employment world that requires a 2:2 for jobs. You’ve got the university who are getting paid to drag you in and keep costs low, and then you’ve got the schools, which are ranked by grades,” he told The Guardian, explaining why he dropped out of college.

“It’s an archaic system that hasn’t moved with the modern world fast enough. Information is almost redundant by the time universities publish their textbooks. There’s probably not that many that have been written about blockchain, but we know it’s a pivotal part of our future.”

In addition to Social Chain, Bartlett currently operates Flight Story Fund (FSF). The organization assists startups and female-led unicorn firms. According to Billionaires Africa, the company wants to invest $100 million to promote developing female-founded business enterprises that are breaking the norm, as well as invest between $1 million and $10 million in early-stage European startups each year.


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