I BELIEVE that for the vast majority, university is completely pointless. I think that three years of “further education” fails to educate the masses about real life and the ways of the world. It’s counter-productive and robs people of learning how the real world works, rendering them brain-dead system surfers.

The media is ablaze with discussion about the alarming number of jobless graduates and the true value of university. Tuition fees are set to rise at an exorbitant rate and students are leaving with huge financial debts to repay. Yet we are hearing unprecedented accounts of graduate unemployment: one in five graduates, having been told a degree would make them irresistible to employers, are currently unable to find work.

The fact is, small and medium-sized businesses account for 99 per cent of all the companies in the UK. This is where the jobs are, and most employers hire according to skills and experience. Nine out of ten have explicitly stated this. I implore school leavers to reconsider the hand-holding education system, to take on the challenge and look beyond job dependency. There is a gaping budget deficit in the UK that could be remedied by addressing the country’s shortfall of entrepreneurship.

I was thrown out of school at 16 with virtually no qualifications, limited prospects and fewer ideas. Selling cheese and eggs on a market stall for a period of time taught me the gift-of-the-gab, commitment to hard graft and strong arithmetic. I built on my skill with numbers and started a simple business handling accounts and tax returns for small, local businesses. After one initial investment of £10 for an advertisement for my services and 17 years work – at the age of 41 – I now own a business empire spanning financial services, aviation, publishing and motor racing making over £6m a year in net profit.

I’m living proof that with a sizeable amount of tenacity, relentless commitment, and a big idea, we all have the power to create the tomorrow we want and run a successful business. If you want to live in one of Britain’s richest areas, own a fleet of planes and get a place on The Sunday Times Rich List, get back to where the real action is and start running a business.

To pass on this vision, I’ve published an autobiographical guide called How To Make Millions Without A Degree in the hope that I can impart some of the confidence, techniques and ideas necessary to turn any idea into a great business. By learning these techniques and by practicing and improving over time, you can be 100 per cent, 200 per cent or even 300 per cent better than you are now.

One of the most important of these skills is resilience and self-belief. With conviction in your idea, intense engagement, passionate drive and by giving yourself time, you can start your own business and get rich – without the regressive 3-year stint at university.

How to Make Millions without a Degree is published by Matador

Agree with Simon Dolan? We welcome debate. Do you have a strong view on small business and entrepreneurship in the UK?