Crawford Johnstone

Teen Entrepreneur


What I do

My Creative Writing Magic Money Cards help children between the ages of nine and fifteen improve their English (although other age groups can benefit, too). My method shows students how not only to gain higher marks in exams and tests but also to become more confident in their capabilities. They also improve writing skills and, additionally, help with comprehension.

How I came up with the idea

When I was in my final year at primary school I wanted to improve my English, especially my creative writing. Text books were offering pages about metaphors and the other writing techniques but I wanted a quicker method to help me understand and revise. I began with little slips of paper at first. My system developed as I crunched and condensed the key information and techniques taken from English textbooks. My idea worked really well for me. As I employed each technique I moved the appropriate cards to a spent pile and I thought it compared to spending money, so my idea for magic money cards was born.

What it feels like to have success

Some famous people have been very supportive and helped me spread the word. When the bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith kindly wrote about my idea on his Facebook page to his tens of thousands of followers around the world, the effect was immediate. The very first of these orders from his fans came from near Botany Bay in Australia within 24 hours of his message appearing! Mums and dads also email messages of thanks, which is particularly satisfying because this is real proof that my cards are helping their children.

How I met Doug Richards of BBC TV Dragons’ Den fame and how he’s supported my idea

I was the only schoolboy invited to an Entrepreneurs and Education Programme event at which Doug Richards (below) was speaking because my business had recently won an award. I am not sure how much Mr Richards knew about me beforehand but I was introduced to him before his talk and he asked me to show him how my cards work. Then he told me that he had never seen my method used in teaching before and declared: “I can really see that these will work”. I was amazed when the famous Dragon included my business story in his lecture and, afterwards, he gave me plenty of extra advice about how I should develop my business.