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Ben Francis

Founder & Owner

Gymshark Ltd

Birmingham, UK

Ben Francis
David Forbes
Jeff Fraser
Blue Dunes Growth

Ben Francis’ Biography

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

In December 2020 Ben was voted EY's UK Entrepreneur of the Year. Earlier that year, Ben struck a deal with General Atlantic that valued Gymshark at more than £1bn. The valuation means that Gymshark joins the list of less than 25 British companies to have secured 'unicorn' status since 2001.

Ben founded Gymshark when he was 19 years old and still a student at Aston University. He famously juggled his full-time studies with working as a pizza delivery man 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 applied his expertise in business, social media marketing, sales and fashion, market research, as well as his understanding of the value of collaborating with social media influencers in order to grow visibility. He now uses these skills in his role as Gymshark's Chief Product Officer.

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 and Director of sleek fashion brand, Manière De Voir.

He studied Business and Management at Aston University but 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

European Business Magazine
Gymshark: The Fitness Brand Phenomenon

When Ben Francis created Gymshark out of his bedroom in his parents’ house, he never imagined that he would revolutionise fitness apparel forever. 

BWC Charity announce Ben Francis as first-ever Patron

Gymshark founder Ben Francis has become Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Charity’s first-ever patron. The patronage honours the British entrepreneur’s passion for the NHS, his desire to help those in need as well as his love and enthusiasm to promote Birmingham to the world. 

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Ben’s Social Media

Ben’s Background

Gymshark Ltd
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 and in 2020 acheived 'unicorn' status after being valued at over £1 billion. The business credits its success to a strong online presence, continuous innovation and high-quality performance wear.
Manière De Voir
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.

Ben’s Gallery


How You Can Scale Your Business | Ben Francis
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.
How You Can Grow Your Business | Ben Francis
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 & Endorsements

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year
UK Winner 2020
London, UK
EY's Entrepreneur Of The Year UK has been celebrating, supporting and connecting entrepreneurs since it first launched in the UK over 20 years ago. Reflecting on the award, Ben says he was: “Proud and humbled to be the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020 UK winner at what is an incredibly exciting time for Gymshark.”
Forbes 30 under 30 - 2018
30 Under 30 - Europe - Retail & Ecommerce
Forbes 30 under 30 is a list issued annually by Forbes magazine that recognises leaders, innovators and trailblazers in various industries that are under the age of 30.
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Charitable Interests

Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Charity
Jun 2021 - Present
Birmingham, UK
In June 2021 Ben became Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Charity’s first-ever Patron. Driven by his desire to give back to his community, Ben will help the charity improve the lives of women, babies, children and families, both in Birmingham and further afield.

Ben’s Education

Aston University
Business and Management