EDC student in the running for national entrepreneur award

The Peter Jones Enterprise Academy has revealed that a student from East Durham College has been chosen as one of the UK’s top six young entrepreneurs, who will go head-to-head in a boardroom competition for the annual National Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 award.

Amelia-Jayne Chapman, 17, from East Durham College, is one of six Peter Jones Enterprise Academy students from across the UK who will pitch to Peter Jones CBE and a high profile panel of judges at the Dragons’ Den star’s HQ, to vie for the country’s highest accolade for young entrepreneurs and £5,000 worth of investment.

Amelia-Jayne, who lives in Peterlee, and her competitors will face tough questioning from the judging panel – which includes 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 – as they present their business ideas, developed as part of their course at Peter Jones Enterprise Academy.

Amelia-Jayne’s venture, 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.

Amelia-Jayne Chapman from East Durham College said: “It’s such an honour to be a finalist in this year’s National Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. It’s been great to put everything I’ve learnt at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy course into action, and I’m excited about presenting the business idea I’ve developed to Peter Jones and his panel of judges. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from the experience – and from my fellow finalists.”

Amelia-Jayne will face five other finalists of the National Entrepreneur of the Year award from across the UK, including:

  • Alice Greenaway-Mintoft, Dudley College
  • George Fox, Chelmsford College
  • Henry Matthews, Amersham and Wycombe College
  • Jack Brookes, Dudley College
  • Tylfe Charles, Westminster Kingsway College

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. I can’t wait to hear more about their businesses and look forward to meeting these inspiring young businesspeople in the boardroom.”

Jill Tones, Peter Jones Academy Lecturer at East Durham College said: “We’re incredibly proud that Amelia-Jayne is a finalist in this year’s National Entrepreneur of the Year competition. She has shown utter dedication to her business idea throughout this process, and very much deserves her place in this final list.

“Everyone at East Durham College will be keeping our fingers crossed ahead of pitching day – we wish Amelia-Jayne all the best of luck in front of Peter Jones and the judges!”  

The final stage of the National Entrepreneur of the Year competition will take place on Wednesday 14 June 2017, with the overall winner being announced later in the summer at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy annual Graduation ceremony.

The winning student will receive £5,000 to invest in their business – a generous donation from the legacy of Carol Slesser, an inspiring businesswoman whose life was dedicated to encouraging entrepreneurship. The winner will also become a 2017 ambassador for the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy.