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PJEA graduate Jacob Knowles expands printing business into innovative educational products

Former Peter Jones Enterprise Academy student Jacob Knowles started his own business, Empine Printing, just over 18 months ago. The company prints a wide variety of collateral, from stationery and signs to marketing materials and calendars.

Recently, Jacob has extended his business into new markets with Empine Education, a service dedicated to printing personalised educational materials, such as exercise books and prospectuses. 

Empine Education’s most innovative products include exercise books that have been designed specifically for students who are dyslexic or colour-blind. By using tinted paper, the business is able to produce books that are much easier to read for those who find it more difficult.

Jacob says: “It is the personal nature of our service that has led to Empine’s success – we work hard to understand exactly what our customers need. This approach has meant that our name is quickly spreading via word of mouth, and we can now list a number of local councils as clients.” 

Jacob attended the PJEA at Oldham College instead of university, and he is still using the skills he developed here – especially the pitching practice. He was shortlisted for the National Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2013, and says that having pitched his business ideas to Peter Jones CBE, he feels as though nothing can daunt him. 

The marketing strategies he learnt at the Academy have also come in helpful, by providing a template for successfully marketing Empine that he has built on over the years.  He has stayed close to his cohort from the Academy, and has returned there to help mentor students in the years below him. 

We wish Jacob – and Empine – the very best for the future!