A schoolboy has been threatened with suspension after raking in £14,000 [$22,000] to pay for his University fees by selling sweets to pals in the playground.
Budding businessman Tommie Rose, 15, has made a fortune by selling chocolate, crisps and fizzy drinks to pupils at Buile Hill High School, Salford [England].
He has even employed two mates to help run his business, paying them a princely £5.50 [$8.60] a day.
But now Tommie’s business empire is under threat because the school says it breaches their strict healthy-eating policy and he has been accused of running a ‘black market on sweet treats.
He racked up 10 days of suspension from his old school, the Oasis Academy in Salford, as punishment for his trade in September 2011.
So he moved school and took his business elsewhere, which put his daily earnings of around £60-70 [$94-110] into a trust fund to pay for a business degree from a top university.
Parents Gary, 33, an office worker, and gym manager Tracy, also 33 say they would struggle to pay £9,000-a-year [$14,090] tuition fees.
Leading figures in the business world have backed a teenage entrepreneur who is facing suspension by his school for running a 'black market' tuck shop.
Business leaders including the Bank of Dave's Dave Fishwick and Dragons' Den star Deborah Meaden said Tommie's entrepreneurial spirit should be encouraged.
Dave Fishwick, from the TV show Bank of Dave, said: "I left a school with nothing and there are two ways you can make it, either with qualifications, which is great if you can get them, or by finding another way.
"If this lad is showing entrepreneurial spirit so young, then what we should be doing is, rather than dampen it, find some way of encouraging it in the right way and bringing that within the school as a way of getting other kids fired up."
Entrepreneur Deborah Meaden, of BBC show Dragons' Den, this morning tweeted in response to a tweet from Manchester comedian Jason Manford saying Tommie was a natural.
She said: "he doesn't need a degree in Business.... He's a natural #encouragenotkill"
Stockport-born Vikas Shah started a web design company at the start of the dotcom bubble when he was just 14.
Now 33, he is managing director of the Trafford-based £16m turnover Swiscot Group, the co-president of TiE in the north – one of the largest networks of people on the planet – and Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship on The Lisbon MBA.
In reaction to Tommie's situation he said: "Enterprise is a key-skill, and something immensely important.
"School's are very quick to support and encourage students who (outside the normal realms of study) engage in sports or music at a high-level, so why not entrepreneurship?
David Fox, the co-founder of the £7m turnover Tampopo restaurant chain, said he admired Tommie but understood the school's stance.
He said: "Napoleon referred to us as a nation of shopkeepers and I admire the young fellows entrepreurship.
"I do however see the tension between his actions and the responsibility of the school."
"I would congratulate him on his sense of enterprise which he should pursue out of the school gates.