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Martin Halstead is known as the “Baby Branson” after founding his own airline, Alpha 1 Airways, seven months ago at age 18.

The idea came about after Halstead qualified as a pilot. Halstead joked with a friend that he should set up his own airline as the prospects of becoming a first officer were small.

“Four weeks later, I had done a feasibility study and had my heart set on it,” Halstead says in an exclusive video interview on FT.com.

Now 19, Halstead’s airline began operating flights between Southampton and the Isle of Man on November 7.

Halstead’s top tips for entrepreneurs:

■ “If it’s something I really really want, then I don’t let up. In this industry, you’ve got to be driven to even begin in it.”

■ “You get so many setbacks, every day there’s a setback, and you’ve just got to ride it out and not give up, really.”

■ “(Entrepreneurialism) is not conscious. I have absolutely no doubt of that. I think there’s entrepreneurs and there’s businessmen.“

■ “You can be taught to be a businessman. And I think entrepreneurs can learn how to be a businessman, to be a successful entrepreneur. But you’re born with an entrepreneurial spirit. “

■ “My main piece of advice (would be): don’t become too emotionally attached to your business, because you take the lows a lot harder than you would otherwise.”

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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