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On the buses: how to succeed when you fail maths GCSE

Billionaire transport tycoon Brian Souter is living proof you can be successful and an accountant without a maths O-level! The son of a bus driver had wanted to be an accountant but couldn’t go to university at first because he didn’t have that maths O-level.

June 2016

So Souter went to Dundee College and studied for a diploma in economics and accounts, before eventually getting in to university. All through higher education he worked as a bus conductor and in the week he sat his exams he reportedly worked 77 hours on the buses!
He qualified just as Mrs Thatcher became Prime Minster and that’s when he saw a gap when coach routes were deregulated. Investing his savings of some £12,000, he went into business with his sister, a nurse, who put her house up as collateral, and £25,000 from their dad. Stagecoach was born when they bought two second-hand buses, offering routes from Dundee to London and Aberdeen to Glasgow. The company now has 14,000 buses and sales of £3.2bn.

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