Money blog: Raheem Sterling will pay to put 14 people through university (2024)

'A truck unloaded a £600 car that her son bought on eBay thinking it was a toy': The schoolgate stories that led to GoHenry

Just 18% of companies in the UK are led by women, and while data suggests female entrepreneurs are on the rise, men still receive more funding and are entrusted with higher average loans to get them started.

In a new series every Tuesday,Money blog reporter Jess Sharp speaks to women who are bossing it in their respective fields - hearing their stories, struggles and advice for those who want to follow in their footsteps.

First up is the co-founder and CEO of GoHenry, Louise Hill...

For many women, having kids pauses or unfairly disrupts their careers. For Louise, the opposite happened.

Growing up in Lowestoft on the east coast of England, she had a childhood filled with days on the beach, kayaking and exploring old boats. But her own kids arrived into a very different world - one of apps and downloads and online market places.

It wasn't long before she started to think about financial education and the importance of practical money skills.

Back when her two children had iPods and would download music from iTunes, she would print off an invoice every time they landed a bill in her inbox. The invoice would then be stuck on the fridge.

When they came to her at the weekend asking for pocket money, Louise would point to the fridge and deduct the amount they had already spent from their allowance.

"I was trying to make them understand that money has to come from somewhere, and it really doesn't grow on trees," she told the Money team.

"I could go through the process of saying, well you'd normally get £5 but here's what you've spent this week, so you only get £1.20."

How the idea for GoHenry came about

Among school pick-ups and kids' football games, she heard other parents complaining about their children's spending habits.

One parent told a story about her daughter spending £200 on an online My Little Pony game. Another didn't know what to do when a battered-up car arrived at her driveway on a flatbed truck after her son spent £600 on eBay on what he thought was a toy.

"Everybody had a story. It was amazing to realise we were all having the same problems and kids were starting to have access through their parents to the digital world, but there was nothing in the market to help parents teach them to access it in a safe way," Louise said.

"We wanted to create a service that would empower them with freedom, confidence, to use and understand money but in a safe environment."

The idea of GoHenry, a prepaid debit card and learning app, was born.

With a big mortgage, little money to set up a business and two kids to look after following a divorce, Louise said she and her co-founders (who quickly left the company) "grafted".

"I could have got a fairly safe, well-paid corporate job - jumping off the edge of a cliff into the uncertainty of starting a business was quite a leap," she said.

"But, the idea was too good, frankly.

"It took a little while to work out the right tool to use, so we worked nights, we worked weekends, we worked holidays, all because we really, really wanted to bring this to market."

In an initial round of seed funding, she raised more than £650,000, which was followed by several successful crowdfunding campaigns.

The challenges

Her company eventually launched in 2012 and while it's now a huge success, delivering a service to more than two million people across France, Spain, Italy, the US and the UK, Louise said it hasn't been without its challenges.

The first one was the name. When it first came to market, the business was called PCT Money (pronounced pocket money), but the name was changed about 18 months later after she realised it was "stupid".

"Nobody could say it and nobody could spell it, it was a really silly idea," she added.

The business got the name GoHenry after its very first customer – an 11-year-old boy named Henry from Bristol.

Another challenge was its scale of growth - GoHenry grew in a big way, very quickly, which meant constant changes needed to be made to the company structure.

"About six or seven years ago, we were growing incredibly quickly... I know this sounds ridiculous but almost every six months you'd have to step back and look at what we needed," she said.

This was an issue Louise had faced and failed to overcome years before in a previous business - an ecommerce company called Manners which she was forced to sell after running out of cash to sustain its growth.

"We failed to think about how we would scale it. We couldn't grow it any more because we didn't have enough cash in the company. At the time, I was really cross with myself for not having thought about that," she said.

'I was becoming a roadblock'

In around 2017-18, Louise realised another issue with GoHenry - herself.

"I was becoming a roadblock. I was working flat out and so much of the information about why we did things the way we did them was in my head or in my laptop files," she explained.

"That kind of snuck up on me and I was fundamentally creating a risk for the business and stopping us growing as quickly as we could."

She started a campaign across the company, encouraging staff to raise "single points of failure" to see where the problems were.

"I appeared in there an awful lot," she said. "So, yeah, that's a top tip from me - don't let that sneak up on you. Plan ahead."

What's been the key to her success?

Now running for more than 12 years, GoHenry has continued to expand and innovate.

Louise said keeping her mission of "making every kid smart with money" at the forefront had been "fundamental".

"That is our sole focus. This isn't an add-on product to another business, everyone who joins GoHenry is here for one reason and that's to serve Gen Z and now Generation Alpha's money needs and I think that makes a big difference," she added.

Louise's advice for others

"Who am I to give advice?" was her initial response when asked this question, adding that she hoped to see more young girls and women see images of people who look like them succeeding.

"The more that becomes the norm, the more people will think they can do it too," she said.

"I've been asked many times what's the difference between a founder, an entrepreneur and a non-entrepreneur, and it has to come down to risk appetite," she added.

"I've thought about all sorts of different mindsets, different backgrounds, different abilities with, I don't know, spreadsheets or contacts... But at some point it comes down to being confident enough."

So practically, she said women looking to set up a business should start by finding support groups.

"There are loads out there. They can be hugely helpful because founding a business can be lonely and a tough move to make. Nobody pretends that it's easy," she said.

Another tip she had was to plan for scale "from day one", thinking about the partners you work with, the suppliers, how much money you need to bring in and how often you might need to "go out and get more money".

But the most important lesson, she says, is was to hire people you know are better than you.

"It's scary to hire people that you know are much better than you but if you can do that and then give them the space they need to do what they can really well, you'll have a much higher chance of a successful business," she said.

"What's the worst that can happen if you fail? Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start again."

Money blog: Raheem Sterling will pay to put 14 people through university (2024)


Money blog: Raheem Sterling will pay to put 14 people through university? ›

Raheem Sterling will financially support 14 students to attend university through his scholarship fund, with applications closing this week. This will be the second year the Chelsea forward's scholarship programme will assist successful applicants at King's College London and the University of Manchester.

What are current interest rates in the UK? ›

The current Bank of England base rate is 5.25%.

From December 2021 to August 2023, the Bank's rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) raised the base rate 14 consecutive times to its current level of 5.25%. These increases have also resulted in significant rises in mortgage and savings rates.

What's the average interest rate on a mortgage in the UK? ›

Current residential mortgage rates
Deal type and lengthCurrent average rate across all lendersCurrent average rate across big six lenders
2 year fixed-rate (75% LTV)5.89%5.08%
5 year fixed-rate (75% LTV)5.35%4.69%
2 year variable rate (75% LTV)5.84%5.75%
Standard variable rate (SVR)8.65%7.5%

What are the interest rates predicted to be in the UK in 2024? ›

The latest forecasts are for UK interest rates to start to go down from September 2024, where financial markets are pricing in around 2 cuts to the UK Interest Rate from 5.25% at the start of 2024 to 4.75% by the end of 2024.

What is the mortgage rate prediction for the UK? ›

Also, mortgage rates are still much higher than we've been used to in recent years. In May 2024, the average 2 year fixed rate is 4.74%. While this is a significant drop from its July 2023 peak of 6.86%, it's still much higher than December 2021 when was 2.34%.

What is the current US base rate? ›

U.S. Government Rates
LatestWk AgoLow

Why is interest haram? ›

Since an excessively low interest rate would also expose the lender to a loss, Muslims consider that interest is not congruent with an equal distribution of income. Any transaction that involves interest will necessarily hurt one of the two sides; it is essentially a gamble, which is also prohibited by Islam.

Which bank has the lowest interest rate? ›

Home Loan Interest Rate 2024

Currently, Union Bank of India and Bank of Maharashtra offer the lowest home loan interest rate starting from 8.35% p.a. Punjab National Bank, Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank and Canara Bank offer rate of interest on home loans starting from 8.40% p.a.

Are mortgage rates going down in 2024? ›

The general consensus among industry professionals is that mortgage rates will slowly decline in the last quarter of 2024. The projected declines have shrunk, though, in recent months. At the start of the year, for instance, Fannie Mae predicted rates would drop to 5.8%.

What is the average mortgage monthly payment? ›

The average mortgage payment is $2,883 on 30-year fixed mortgage, and $3,759 on a 15-year fixed mortgage. But the median payment is likely a more accurate measure for many: $1,775 in 2022, according to the US Census Bureau.

Will personal loan rates go down in 2024? ›

While there isn't a direct relationship between personal loan rates and the Fed's actions, they certainly tend to move in the same direction. If the federal funds rate falls in 2024, we may see lower rates on personal loans.

How much will the Fed raise interest rates in 2024? ›

Interest rates have held steady since July 2023.

At its March 2024 gathering the Fed decided to keep the federal funds target rate at 5.25% to 5.5%, where it has remained since July 2023. To combat ongoing inflation, the rate was raised 11 times between March 2022 and July 2023.

What is the current interest rate? ›

Current mortgage and refinance interest rates
ProductInterest RateAPR
30-Year Fixed Rate7.11%7.16%
20-Year Fixed Rate6.92%6.97%
15-Year Fixed Rate6.64%6.71%
10-Year Fixed Rate6.51%6.58%
5 more rows

Are mortgage rates dropping? ›

NAR: Rates Will Decline to 6.5% The National Association of Realtors expects mortgage rates will average 6.8% in the first quarter of 2024, rising to 7.1% in the second quarter, according to its latest Quarterly U.S. Economic Forecast.

Will mortgage rates go down in 2025? ›

"By the first quarter of 2025, mortgage rates could potentially fall below the 6% threshold, or maybe even lower." Hold steady through 2024: Afifa Saburi, a capital markets analyst for Veterans United Home Loans, doesn't think rates are going to drop much this year.

Why are mortgage rates so high? ›

When inflation is running high, the Fed raises those short-term rates to slow the economy and reduce pressure on prices. But higher interest rates make it more expensive for banks to borrow, so they raise their rates on consumer loans, including mortgages, to compensate.

Which Bank gives 7% interest on savings accounts in the UK? ›

First Direct

Why are UK interest rates so high? ›

The Bank of England moves rates up and down in order to control UK inflation - the increase in the price of something over time. When inflation is high, the Bank - which has a target to keep inflation at 2% - may decide to raise rates.

What is the mortgage rate in the UK? ›

Fixed-rate mortgages
MortgageInitial interest rateFollowed by a Variable Rate, currently
3 Year Fixed Standard4.69% fixed6.99%
5 Year Fixed Fee Saver4.59% fixed6.99%
5 Year Fixed Standard4.40% fixed6.99%
5 Year Fixed Premier Standard4.37% fixed6.99%
3 more rows

What is the highest interest rate ever in England? ›

Highest ever interest rate (November 1979) - the base rate hit its highest peak ever at 17%. It remained at 17% until 3 July 1980. Lowest ever interest rate (March 2020) - the base rate dropped to a historic low of 0.1% on 19 March 2020 where it stayed until December 2021.

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