Eight years ago, Mark Pearson launched the now-successful MyVoucherCodes from a computer in his bedroom with just £300 in the bank.
By the time the UK was hit with the recession in 2008, budget-conscious shoppers had begun flocking to the site, looking for discounts and tips on thrifty spending. Until the recession, discounts weren’t an important factor of one’s spending habits, however across the pond in the USA, there was already a significant craze for coupons. The frugal lifestyle has since made its way over to the UK, made especially popular by online deals and television shows such as ‘Extreme Couponing’.
It was this new found popularity that propelled Pearson’s site into success. MyVoucherCodes offers discounts that can be used at well known retail stores such as Marks and Spencer or Argos, often generating savings of up to 20%.
Now thirty four, Pearson has sold his business for £55m and is currently working on future business endeavors. Today, he funds businesses in which he sees potential, investing a minimum of £100,000 each time. These business are usually start-ups run by young entrepreneurs – a cause close to his heart, since he left school at 16 to train as a chef before entering the world of entrepreneurship.
Whilst he has not openly discussed his upcoming projects, he has explained the potential he sees in online shopping through mobile devices, so it is likely his new business will revolve around hunting for deals through a mobile site or app.
He is also working on an initiative that aims to fund and encourage young visionaries from disadvantaged backgrounds in order to help bring their business ideas to fruition. Although the government currently offer £10,000 start-up loans, Pearson feels this is not enough to truly become established in one’s chosen industry, especially with the expense of hiring an office, staff and marketing services. His goal is to show that school leavers could gain success by following a non-traditional route and starting a business.