He was not an easy kid to bring up, says Branson's mum

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 December, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 December, 2004, 12:00am

We all have to start somewhere, even unconventional billionaires. The main difference is that they usually start early. It's public knowledge, for example, that British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson established his own national magazine at the tender age of 16, while he was at school.

But CitySeen has found out that Sir Richard's entrepreneurial ventures began even earlier. We got the rare chance to speak to his mother, Eve Branson (above, with Sir Richard's father, Ted) about what he was like as a child. 'He was not an easy kid to bring up, I'll tell you that,' she said. His money-making days began when he was about 15. 'He decided he would make money by selling Christmas trees. So he bought these seeds for 20p and was going to grow them and sell them at Christmas time,' said Eve. The result? 'The seeds were all eaten by birds.'

He sought his revenge by trying to raise and sell budgies next - 'because they reproduce so quickly', she explained, but he lost interest a few weeks later. Further antics of the young Richard can be found in his mother's recently completed autobiography, for which she is seeking a publisher.