David Forbes
Savills
Jedidiah Francis
Jed.ai Labs

Ben Francis

Founder & Owner

Gymshark Ltd

Birmingham, UK

Ben Francis

Biography

Ben Francis is the Founder and ambitious entrepreneur behind leading UK fitness brand, Gymshark.

Ben founded Gymshark when he was 19 years old, while still a student at Aston University. In addition to his full-time commitment to his studies, Ben juggled working as a pizza delivery man for Pizza Hut in the evenings in order to fund his Gymshark venture.

The business has grown from an operation in Ben’s garage to one of the most recognised fitness brands in the world. The company credits its success to a strong online presence, continuous innovation and a commitment to producing high quality performance wear.

Ben was Chief Executive Officer of Gymshark until 2017 and successfully applied his wide range of expertise in business & marketing strategy, social media marketing, market research, sales and fashion, as well as his deep understanding of the value of collaborating with social media influencers, in order to grow visibility.

Recognised for his contribution as a young entrepreneur, Ben was nominated as one of Forbes 30 under 30 in Retail and E-commerce in 2018, the same year Gymshark’s revenue hit $120 million. In 2016 Gymshark was confirmed as one of the UK’s fastest growing companies by Fast Track in The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 list.

Ben’s talent for building start-ups is evident in his contribution as co-founder of sleek fashion brand, Manière De Voir, where he worked as Director.

He studied Business and Management at Aston University and decided to stall his studies in order to dedicate more time to Gymshark. Prior to founding Gymshark, Ben also developed iOS apps - two of which made it into Apple's fitness charts.

Ben’s Newsfeed

Sky News
Dr Martens owner Permira joins Gymshark bidding frenzy

Ben Francis, founder of Gymshark, has set his sights on challenging global sportswear giants like Adidas and Nike. "I'm not content with managing £500m revenue in the next few years," he told a recent interviewer. "I genuinely think we can be up there with the Nikes of this world."

MoneyWeek
How I made £138m before the age of 30

At the age of 19, Ben Francis spent £1,000 in savings on a sewing machine and screen printer, and learnt how to make garments for the bodybuilding scene from his mum.

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Ben’s Background

Founder & Owner
Jul 2012 - Present
Birmingham, UK
Gymshark is a UK fitness, apparel and accessory company, established by Ben Francis in 2012. It has since grown into a leading sportswear brand. The business credits its success to a strong online presence, continuous innovation and high-quality performance wear.
Co-Founder & Director
Dec 2013 - Apr 2018
Birmingham, UK
Manière De Voir is a premium clothing and accessories fashion brand based in the United Kingdom. The unisex clothing range is designed in-house with a focus on garment construction, innovative and sustainable fabrics, customised prints and unique finishings.
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Ben’s Gallery

Media

Speaker
Mar 2020
Ben Francis talks about how Gymshark went from being a 'lifestyle' business with a small team, into the large professional business it is today, employing over 400 people.
Speaker
Sep 2019
In this video Ben Francis talks about some of the things he has learnt from Gymshark's growth, and some top, actionable tips that he'd give to anyone looking to build their own business.
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Awards

30 Under 30 - Europe - Retail & Ecommerce
2018
Forbes 30 under 30 is a list issued by annually by Forbes magazine that recognises leaders, innovators and trailblazers in various industries that are under the age of 30.
The Sunday Times Profit Track 100 logo The Sunday Times Profit Track 100 logo
The Sunday Times Profit Track 100
Winner 2020
London, UK
Gymshark were top of the league in the 2020 Sunday Times Profit Track 100. The Profit Track 100 ranks Britain’s private companies with the fastest growing profits. Gymshark’s profits have rocketed from £1.1m in 2016 to £18.6m in 2019, on sales of £176.2m.
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Ben’s Education

Business and Management