Britain’s youngest shopkeeper, 16, opened his shop without GCSEs

“I can read, write and count money, that’s all I really need” (Image: SWNS)

Britain’s youngest shopkeeper has started his own business after leaving school without GCSEs.

Finlay Hutchings, 16, chose to open Hutchings Emporium rather than stay in school and pursue formal qualifications.

The teenager says he “doesn’t regret” his decision as he “can read, write and count money, which is all I really need”.

His shop sells “everything he can get his hands on,” including clothing, antiques, and fishing gear.

Finlay launched the business on Facebook Marketplace during lockdown while his school years were online. When in-person classes resumed, Finlay “didn’t see much point in it anymore.

“I knew I would eventually go back to what I was doing, working for myself, so I didn’t see the point of going to school,” he said.


Finlay started the business during the Covid-19 lockdown (Image: Adam Hughes / SWNS)


His decision to leave school was supported by his father (Image: Adam Hughes / SWNS)


The shop sells a variety of products including clothing and antiques (Image: Adam Hughes / SWNS)

“I never really enjoyed school anyway, my head just wasn’t in play for school and I never really felt the urge to pursue higher education.

“I went to school for a while and ran the business after school in the evenings just walking around the school. Then this year I just thought I’d give it a try.

“It’s really come together over the past few years and I knew what I wanted to do instead. So I left school and I’ve never looked back – I can read, write and count money, that’s all I really need.”

The business continued under the name of Finlay’s father, Mark, until Finlay turned 18. They have worked together on business ventures for years, and Mark fully supports his child’s decision to drop out of formal education.

Mark said: “Some kids are obviously very into school but he never was. He’s always wanted to do his own thing, so it was really a no brainer.

“I’m very proud of him, it takes a lot of courage for someone of any age to take on and do something like that. He works seven days a week but he sticks to it and he’s doing really well.’

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Justin Scaccy

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