Why whizzkid George is top of the swaps

George  Freeman, who as just set up the internet site High Street swap.
George Freeman, who as just set up the internet site High Street swap.
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WATCH out Lord Sugar - and Sir Richard Branson had better get ready, too.

There’s a new business brain in town - who’s keen, just 18, and determined to make a scene.

George Freeman left school only last summer but already has a stint as an investment broker in the City of London under his belt.

In the autumn he’s supposed to be starting a degree course in business management at Sheffield Hallam University - but that’s if he decides to go.

Because now the whizzkid has a new venture up and running - a website which allows people to swap their unwanted possessions online free of charge.

His site - High Street Swap - went live only last month, but has already attracted hundreds of visitors and is interesting advertisers.

“The word is getting out and the site is getting a good reaction,” said George, who lives at Claypit Way, Barlborough, Chesterfield.

Like Google and other online giants, George hopes to interest people with a quality free service and then reel in income from ad revenue.

The former Mount St Mary’s College pupil is no stranger to conjuring up a cashflow.

His first venture at the age of 14 was a magic act, which saw him performing at a variety of venues, including nursing homes, summer balls and wedding receptions.

“I’d learned quite a few tricks and routines and I was able to earn in the region of £200 to £300 a night,” George said.

After finishing his A-levels George decided to spread his wings. “Basically I cold-called a number of firms in the City and asked if they had any work,” he said.

“It didn’t seem to be an approach they were used to - but a company called the Claremont Group offered me a position.

“I called them on Friday and they asked me to start on the Tuesday and I had no accommodation or anything.

“It was all about confidence really.

“I was selling £20,000 investment packages over the phone, working in offices right next to the Gherkin on 11-hour days.

“It was decent pay but I left before Christmas as I was missing home.

“I haven’t yet made my mind up about university. Many decent jobs ask for a degree at entry level but plenty of famous businessmen - like entrepreneur Peter Jones, who is one of my heroes - never went down that route.

“For now I’m giving the website everything - forget those well-known ones that charge to advertise your stuff, this is the way forward,” he declared.

“Already I’ve had an offer of £1,000 for five per cent of the business, which means a valuation of £20,000. I’m hoping it really takes off.”