Fraser Doherty launched SuperJam when he was just fourteen, spending
countless hours in his parent's kitchen making jam and selling it to neighbors
in the suburbs of Edinburgh, Scotland. After he realized how much he liked the
jam—and how much sugar he was putting into the sweet concoction—he decided to
recraft his grandmother's recipe. He replaced old-fashioned sugar with juices
derived from "superfoods," natural foods that are rich in nutrients and health
benefits. Today, his luxury SuperJams are sold in supermarket chains such as
Tesco, Asda/Wal-Mart, and Waitrose. He is now in discussions with retailers
elsewhere in the world.
Doherty was involved with the first Enterprise Week in the United Kingdom,
which served as the inspiration, along with Entrepreneurship Week USA 2007, for
the November 2008 Global Entrepreneurship Week. Since then, he's shared his
story with countless young entrepreneurs of how a chance visit to a chicken farm
inspired him to take an entrepreneurial path. In 2008, Doherty and his company,
SuperJam, won first place in the Global Student Entrepreneurship Awards
In this essay, Doherty tells how his entrepreneurial spirit—sparked at a
young age—drives him to inspire other young entrepreneurs.
When I was ten years old, a childhood friend and I visited a farm, and I
convinced the farmer to give us a box of eggs. I took them home and explained to
my mom and dad that we were going to keep the eggs warm so they would hatch. We
were going to start a chicken farm—in the back gardens of our house in the
suburbs of Edinburgh. My parents didn't really like the idea, but they thought
they'd let us try it. They didn't expect that two kids could figure out how to
A month later, we were chasing chickens in our back garden and selling eggs
to our neighbors.
At ten years old, I had started my first business—a simple idea fueled by
dedication, hard work, and the ironic confidence of my parents. Sadly, the local
fox soon ate my chickens, and I had to come up with a new idea.
Which goes to prove that entrepreneurship doesn't have to be complex. And
it's not about coming up with money to buy a big car or a big house. It's about
doing something creative. It's about doing good in society. Entrepreneurship is
an adventure, and it's something anyone can get involved with.
That's why I am excited about Global Entrepreneurship Week. For one week,
young entrepreneurs will come together across the globe with ideas to make the
world better, to improve products, or to improve services. We'll tell our
stories, be inspired by someone else's, and find like-minded people to share our
My hope is that thousands of entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs, young
or old, from Scotland or Mexico, will be part of the Week. The more people who
come together during Global Entrepreneurship Week to work on entrepreneurial
ideas, the faster society will move forward.
I've learned through my participation in Enterprise Week and the Global
Student Entrepreneurship Awards competition that people who start businesses at
a young age have some inherent part of their character that makes them look at
the world in a different way. We're motivated to try to change things around us,
but how we carry out our ideas might be very different. And that's exciting
too—we're all similar, but in other ways we're different. Global
Entrepreneurship Week will show us that we may come from different backgrounds
in every measure, different political views, different religious beliefs, but
we're united in our imagination and drive.
My story about how I turned my gran's jam into a business is included in
school textbooks in Scotland, Denmark, and Russia, but I'm just a normal person
who had an idea and worked very hard to make it work. It's not specific to any
geography or any age.
Entrepreneurship starts with an idea.