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Peter Jones Enterprise Academy students go head-to-head at the National Entrepreneur Award finals

Six of the country’s most promising young business minds have competed for the prestigious National Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 award in an enthralling boardroom battle at Peter Jones CBE’s Marlow HQ.

The finalists – all Peter Jones Enterprise Academy students from across the UK – delivered brilliant pitches to a panel of impressive business leaders that included Peter Jones CBE, Founder of the Peter Jones Foundation; Dean Richmond, Founder of Pets Corner; Jamie Burke, Sales Director at Softcat; Jonny Sobczyk, CEO of the Peter Jones Foundation; Liz Bingham OBE, Partner at Ernst and Young; Neil Old, COO of Jessops and Vicki Hearn, Director at Nominet Trust. 

Competition was tough and the judging panel heard a diverse range of pitches on products from drones to jewellery made of old skateboards and a mental health social enterprise. The winning pitch is set to take home £5000 worth of investment into their business idea.

The culmination of a three-month process, the finalists were chosen from an extensive pool of candidates and had to submit detailed business and financial plans outlining their ideas, their progress to date and their plans for the future. 

Peter Jones CBE said: Peter Jones CBE said: “I’ve been blown away by the thought, dedication and smart business thinking that our National Entrepreneur of the Year Awards finalists have demonstrated this year. The awards are a great showcase for the skills that our students learn at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy and it’s great to see that our Academy has nurtured such brilliant entrepreneurs.”

The six finalists who pitched were:

Alice Greenaway-Mintoft: Dudley College
Business name: BC Wondermind

BC Wondermind is a social enterprise set up for people who have anxiety or depression and for those affected by it. It is a network where people have someone to talk to and it can benefit the community with events such as coffee mornings and talks at schools, colleges and universities. BC Wondermind aims to raise greater awareness of anxiety and depression. Possibly saving a life. 

Amelia-Jayne Chapman: East Durham College
Business name: Scribble

Scribble is a business where you can let your imagination flow wild, and enjoy the creative, yet personal atmosphere we create at your children’s parties. The parties involve drawing tutorials and each drawing created will be printed on to numerous products at an extra charge, for example, cups, t-shirts and keyrings, so that children come away from the party with their own individual creations. 

George Fox: Chelmsford College 
Business name: Ezi Dig 

Ezi Dig has designed a modified garden fork with a plate by the prongs to make it easier to push the prongs into the ground. This has been specifically designed to aid all people who have lower back and foot problems with prolonged use of a normal fork.

Henry Matthews: Amersham and Wycombe College
Business name: Re-Skate Jewellery

Re-Skate Jewellery is about recycling old, broken and worn down skateboards and bearings into new and vibrant skateboard accessories and memorabilia. The business has an aim to reduce the number of skateboards thrown away every year and recycle them into a more exciting piece of jewellery that is handmade and environmentally friendly. 

Jack Brookes: Dudley College
Business name: Swiftshot Airborne Services

SwiftShot Airborne Services is a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) based company that offers bespoke services in aerial photography, videography, surveying, inspection and security in a high demand market, using professional drones. The business ensures that innovation, dedication and exploration occurs throughout our operating time.

Tylfe Charles: Westminster Kingsway College
Business name: Civil Cycles

Civil Cycles is a business which repurposes abandoned bicycles to put together new bikes based on the customer’s specification. Customers will be able to choose colour, size, material, wording and part type, creating a unique bike tailored to their specifications and style.