'I left school with no qualifications - three years later I have my own reptile business'
Ben Robinson, owner of Prehistoric Hull
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 10 Jun 2018
A budding Hull entrepreneur who left school at 16 with no qualifications has spoken of how launching his own business has changed his life.
Ben Robinson, 19, runs Prehistoric Hull, and is on a mission to educate young people on snakes and reptiles, and how to look after them.
But turn the clock back three years, and the Hull teenager had left school with few career prospects, and his confidence at a low.
“I was at a pretty bad stage in my life. I knew I wanted to work with reptiles, but I had no idea how to get there.
“School just wasn’t right for me. Sitting there copying out of textbooks wasn’t right. I had fantastic teachers but I just wasn’t happy.
“I left school at 16 with no grades, and went to Hull College for a year just for something to do. After that I just messed around a lot, and going out and doing something stupid.”
Ben joined the Making Changes For Careers programme, and with the help of a £250 grant from the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank – which supports young people living across Hull and the East Riding– founded Prehistoric Hull.
Today, the entrepreneur takes snakes and other reptiles into schools, events and parties, and teaches young people that they “are not evil” and can be loving.
“While they don’t have emotions like cats and dogs do, you can build a bond with them. I certainly have with mine,” he said.
“People think they are just evil, but the truth is a lot of people just mistreat them and they end up getting abandoned.
“You can be a child now and walk into a shop with a parent and buy some the biggest snakes in the world, which is crazy.”
Ben is proof of how starting a business and following your passion can completely change your life.
Speaking about the impact Prehistoric Hull has had on him, the teenager said: “It is about finding that motivation and inspiration. You can do anything you want to do, you have just got to want it enough.
“In the future – in 15 years’ time or something – I would like to either open a reptile zoo or have my own shop.
“My advice would be, follow your passion and go for it. It might not work out, but what is the worst that can happen?”
Prehistoric Hull is available to hire for educational parties, events and school visits.
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