Scott James had failed all his exams – and decided the future was in his own hands.
Aged 19, he set up his own coffee roasters in his hometown Ammanford, Carmarthenshire.
Six years later he is still living in the former mining community – where weekly pay is below the Welsh average – but runs a profitable coffee roastery. He supplies 270 companies including Selfridges, employing 30 people and attracting customers from miles around to their cafe.
The roots of the Coaltown Roastery have been built in to its brand, which plays on the “black gold” epithet given to both coal and coffee.
He was 10 when the last colliery closed in the Amman Valley. Now there are only smaller employers in the west Wales town.