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PJEA students win top prizes in local entrepreneurship awards

Two Peter Jones Enterprise Academy students, Gemma Faulkner and Henry Matthews, have been awarded first place and runner-up in this year’s Chiltern Young Entrepreneur Awards. 

The students at Amersham and Wycombe College were nominated for the award by the college and selected by a panel of judges. Gemma Faulkner impressed the judges with the business she’s been running for the last three years, Gemma’s Bowtique. It produces a range of affordable accessories for girls, that Gemma sells in person at school and local craft fairs, and via the Depop app. Her vision for the future and a carefully thought out business plan earned her first place. 

Gemma Faulkner said: “I had already set up and was running my business before I joined the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, but being on the Peter Jones course has helped me define how I can go forwards with my business. Studying other successful entrepreneurial ventures has given me a lot of ideas about what I can do with my business, and I now have a clearer direction for the future of my business.”

Henry Matthews was awarded runner-up in the competition for a new venture, Re-Skate Jewellery. The business recycles broken and old skateboards, turning them into unique pieces of handmade jewellery. Henry founded the business in October 2016, and began trading during the Christmas period. Now, his products are sold and advertised in a number of local shops.

Both Gemma and Henry recently ran a stall at Chesham Market, where they sold over 600 products in total. 

Caroline Bartholemew, Head of the PJEA at Amersham and Wycombe College, said: 

“Trading at the market produced a lot of interest in the PJEA course – and we even acquired two new applicants. It’s the only course of its kind in the area, and hearing from Gemma and Henry is inspiring for people interested in developing their own business.

“Their recent success in the Chiltern Young Entrepreneur Awards is the product of hard work and determination, and we’re all very proud.” 

The students are now turning their attention to the upcoming PJEA National Entrepreneur of the Year competition – and we wish them the best of luck!