UK finalist 2020
Founder & Chief Brand Officer, Gymshark
As a young teenager Ben Francis’s entrepreneurial mind-set saw him set up a website that sold car licence plates and build iPhone fitness tracking apps.
Ben founded Gymshark aged just 19 while still a student at Aston University, and juggled full time study with work as a pizza delivery man to fund the venture. Gymshark grew from a screen printing operation in a garage into one of the fastest growing brands in fitness.
In 2017, Ben made the decision to step down as CEO and become Gymshark’s Chief Brand Officer, to allow him to continue to focus on the things that have always set Gymshark apart - innovative design, creative content and consumer first thinking. Today Gymshark has millions of customers in over 170 countries, and 350 employees at its Solihull headquarters. Gymshark is currently the second fastest-growing company in the UK, with their business model now being replicated at a smaller scale in Hong Kong and the United States.
As well as working with prominent fitness industry influencers on social media, Ben has worked hard to ensure Gymshark’s social media accounts are as interesting and visual as possible. Gymshark has over 10m followers across 9 platforms with a global fan base of millennial customers, connecting with them online and via a worldwide tour of pop-up events that have included; LA, NYC, London, Toronto, Melbourne and Sydney.