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Safwaan Choudhury

"I suddenly felt that after 12 years in education I was finally fulfilling my desire to learn real business."

I have always believed that a life in business was for me, as I never fancied the idea of spending my life working for somebody else. At 18 years old, I have become the youngest Indian restaurant/takeaway owner in the county. I don’t think this would have been possible without the experience I gained at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy.

After returning from a summer abroad, with no sixth form to back to having failed my AS levels, I found myself at Cambridge Regional College for an interview to study the Level 3 Diploma in Business. After vigorous questioning I was told that based on my extensive work experience and background, I would be better suited to study with the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy at the college because it is a more hands-on business course, as opposed to being “entirely textbook”.

My enrolment on the PJEA was not planned, but I jumped at the opportunity. We studied in a three-storey office building dedicated to start-ups and the learning environment felt extremely professional – it was the perfect setting for such a course.

From the outset, the Academy and my Business Enterprise Manager linked me up with key industry experts and gave me a real advantage during my business planning stages. Throughout the year, we were attending masterclasses from high-profile and successful entrepreneurs, including David Gold and Lord Mawson. I suddenly felt that after 12 years in education I was finally fulfilling my desire to learn real business.

Every single experience felt surreal. Graduation at Freemasons’ Hall with Peter Jones CBE himself topped it off. I graduated on July 2nd 2015 and on the 27th I started my first “proper business” in the form of Royston Tandoori Indian Home Dining, which was previously an average Indian takeaway. My time at the Academy geared me up for running my own business.

If there’s one piece of advice that I would give to budding entrepreneurs, it would be to always innovate, always strive to be the best that you can be and always have firm belief in yourself. 

In addition to running his business, Safwaan is currently studying Marketing at the University of Hertfordshire.