A nine-year-old boy entrepreneur makes history.

A nine-year-old boy from Lidlington has made history by becoming the youngest entrepreneur to join Bedfordshire Chamber in its 136-year existence.The Chamber welcomed Henry Patterson, of High Street, on board as its youngest member since 1877 yesterday. It is in recognition of his success running his own online sweet retailing business selling sweets aimed at children.

The talented youngster said: “I am so pleased. It is one of the most exciting things that has ever happened in my life.”But Not Before Tea isn’t his first business. In fact, Henry’s previous enterprises include selling manure when he was just six years old and an online shop selling unwanted toys.

In February Henry was inspired to design his own brand of sweets to go alongside his mother’s business, Sherbet Pip, because he says he knows his audience better than anyone. He said: “I was like, ‘mum, why aren’t you selling to children?’ No-one knows sweets better than children and no-one ever will.“I have got a big ambition to carry on with this, but if not, I also have an ambition to be a filmmaker.

His mum, Becky, 39, said: “He has put so much hard work and effort into this, so to come to the Chamber is such a big deal for him.“It means a lot to him because even though he is only nine he understands it is a massive achievement and we are really proud.”

Cheryl Smart MBE, of Bedfordshire Chamber, said: “We’re really proud that such a young and successful business person should come from Bedfordshire.“I believe the future is dependent on people like Henry. “It is really fantastic that he has started so young and hopefully he will inspire others.”

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