Plucky young chicken entrepreneur sets sights on overseas markets
An 18 year old entrepreneur from Ynysybwl, who started his business with just two chickens at just 13 years old, has gone on to develop an animal nutrition and poultry business that is currently experiencing strong levels of growth.
Describing himself as a “self-taught” entrepreneur, Callum Griffiths, director of Clydach Farm Group, first established his business venture with two chickens owned by his family, breeding them and selling the poultry to buy his first incubator.
Callum steadily grew his business while studying for his GCSE’s, and the company now boasts over 1,500 chickens and has also established a nutritional pet food division, which is selling product internationally to countries including France, Romania and Spain.
Over time Callum has taken on a number of employees and he now employs a small team of 12 people within the local area, including members of his family who head up the poultry division of his company. This has allowed Callum to focus on the nutritional pet food side, which has quickly become the businesses biggest seller.
And now Callum is swapping managing his poultry business for mentoring in the classroom, heading back to his secondary school as a Big Ideas Wales Role Model.
Callum said: “While I was studying at school, I wasn’t able to dedicate myself entirely to the business. I was receiving calls from potential customers while I was in lessons and having to juggle my education and the business. However, with a lot of effort and dedication I managed to balance both and the business actually grew 150% year on year until I left school at the age of 16.
“My family and friends thought I was crazy to finish my education and push ahead with the business without any investment or backing, but it’s a risk that has paid off. To this day Clydach Farm has never received any outside investment, which has allowed us to have a completely organic approach.”
Callum continued: “I wanted to become a Role Model to let others know that it’s okay to do something different. It’s great speaking to people in their final years of education who might be wondering what their next move is and allowing them to understand that it is okay to take the risk and trust in yourself.”
Callum received business mentoring from a fellow Big Ideas Wales Role Model and commercial property developer, John Bell, back when he was just 15, and with this experience in mind Callum wanted to share his experiences with other budding young entrepreneurs to encourage them on their own business journeys.
Speaking of Callum’s achievements, John said: “Callum epitomises the type of entrepreneur we need in Wales. Taking a risk can be daunting and not many do it, instead living by the words of ‘if only’. But ultimately nobody can knock you for trying and learning from your mistakes along the way. I’m so pleased that Callum’s risk-taking paid off and he is flourishing as a young entrepreneur.”
Not content with his current success, ambitious Callum has his sights set on expanding his business further, with an immediate plan to target additional overseas markets with his nutritional pet food products, including Hong Kong, Singapore, and Asia.
And in the longer term, Callum is currently exploring opening Clydach Farm’s first retail site and even venturing into speciality nutritional food and drinks for humans.
He said: “When I started the business five years ago, I was well aware that I was only 13 years old and it would be difficult to get potential customers to trust me and treat me as a serious and viable business person.
“But even just a few years into my business journey the reception I receive is so different. I am treated as an equal. I think young entrepreneurs are far more accepted now than ever before. There’s nothing to stop someone starting their own business, and age should never be a barrier. Ultimately you get out what you put in, whether you’re a teenager or an established entrepreneur. It’s about the right attitude and hard work.”