The Peter Jones Foundation for Enterprise has supported over 10,000 school students to start their own business and over 3,500 students have graduated from our Peter Jones Enterprise Academy. Below you will find stories from some of our amazing graduates and Tycoon teams.
PJEA Alumni 2009, Ross Bailey
After graduating, Ross spotted an opportunity during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to open a pop-up shop on Carnaby Street selling rebellious t-shirts of the Queen. Having had difficulties finding shop space he decided to create an online marketplace for listing and booking short-term space, making booking a shop as easy as booking a hotel room.
Fast forward to today, Appear Here, has offices in three cities worldwide, has over 100,000 global brands, retailers and creative entrepreneurs signed up to use the service, and over 10,000,000 square foot of rental space. An impressive range of brands have used the spaces, including, Apple, Nike, Made and Spotify.
Ross said: “The practical element of the PJEA was important to me. One thing I took from the Academy, which has impacted my life greatly, was how to spot an opportunity and then focus on it – staying true to what the brand is about and not overcomplicating things with diversions.”
Tycoon Team, Bakeaway
Key Stage 3 Runner-up 2014
This creative team from Haberdasher’s Askes’ Crayford Academy, designed and created their own baking kits to help customers achieve the perfect cookies, cupcakes and biscuits at home. Bakeaway’s strong branding and innovative packaging particularly stood out to the judges, helping to secure the team a place in the awards ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
Tycoon Team, Lease 2 Learn
Key Stage 4 Winner and Overall Winner 2016
Lease 2 Learn from Westborough High School in Dewsbury received £280 as a start-up loan. Their business allows students, teachers and the wider community to lease and hire school IT equipment, including refurbished laptops, at a very competitive and affordable price. The idea was conceived as they discovered over a third of students at their school did not have access to a computer or laptop at home. Lease 2 Learn was selected by a panel of judges based on the criteria of profitability, teamwork, business concept, sustainability and community engagement and the team had a fantastic final profit of over £5,000.
Tycoon Team, Blue Bowtique
Key Stage 1 & 2 Winner and Overall Highly Commended 2016
Blue Bowtique from Barnby Road Academy near Newark received £96 as a start-up loan and invested the money to create bespoke hair bows that give ‘flair to the hair’. They sold to the local community and achieved an incredible profit of £1,482.
PJEA Alumni 2016, Emma Sivess
Since graduating from the PJEA Emma has gone on to study Marketing and Management at the University of Sussex. Alongside her studies, Emma runs her business and blog, Vanity Decay, which she set up during her time on the course. The idea for Vanity Decay came to Emma when she spotted a gap in the market for makeup storage.
Emma said: “I’ve always had an entrepreneurial instinct and I chose the PJEA to expand on this. It’s definitely allowed me to pitch in situations that I wouldn’t have been able to before and studying at the Academy has allowed me to bring so many aspects together – like accounting and marketing – to improve on the skills that I already had to actually start a business.”
PJEA Alumni 2012, Katie Buckingham
Katie has been campaigning to raise awareness of mental health since she was just 17. During her time at the PJEA she set up Altruist Enterprises, a company that provides training courses to organisations and schools to help them prevent and identify stress in the workplace and offer the correct support to those affected.
Since graduating, Katie has won various awards from the New Entrepreneurs Foundation, Entrepreneurial Spark’s and the Birmingham Mail and also worked closely with organisations such as Young Minds, Time to Change and NAHT.
Katie said: “My time at the PJEA taught me that anything is possible. It gave me the confidence to pursue my passion and start a business.”
PJEA Student, Jamie Gamble
Since joining the PJEA I have achieved more than I ever thought possible whilst in education. With the support of the PJEA and my teachers I have set up and launched my business, pitched to investors, sold at local markets and worked at the BMW National Sales Company for four weeks.
The academy is hugely different to traditional business courses or A levels that are extremely text-book orientated. All of my classmates are of a similar mind-set, which is important as it allows ideas to thrive in an entrepreneurial atmosphere. As soon as I started I was able to use the resources and people available to me to help develop my business.
PJEA Student, Sonya Kumar
I was clueless as to what to do after sixth form. University wasn’t an option because I didn’t want to go ahead with further education for another three years of my life. I wanted to be my own boss, an entrepreneur who could make my own choices and take my own risks.
When I discovered the PJEA the course really stood out as it wasn’t all about theory but about performing practically – setting up my own business in the real world really appealed to me.
PJEA Alumni 2012, Gavin Bell
I saw the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy as an ideal stepping stone from education to self-employment and that is exactly what it turned out to be. Over the year I had some amazing experiences, such as pitching to a board at Grant Thornton HQ and being chosen as one of six to go to the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace following an invitation from HRH The Duke of York, KG, Patron of the Peter Jones Foundation. I learnt a great deal over the year and I know it has equipped me with key skills that I need for self-employment. The tutors were absolutely amazing and helped me through every step of my start-up.
Through the Foundation for Children and our Forgotten Children programme we have supported over 20 UK and international charities. By doing this we have raised vital funds to enrich and improve the lives of thousands of young people in this country and across the globe. We raise money through our charitable fundraising activities and through Peter’s philanthropic support for these causes. Below are some examples of our recent activity.
The Purley Youth Project
This is a charity of huge benefit to its’ local community which organises an after-school children’s club in Purley, Surrey. For the majority of children who attend, the club provides vital respite from difficult home lives where trained volunteers pay attention to their problems and they can feel safe and relaxed.
Furthermore, it provides respite for the parents of children with special educational needs or disabilities, who make up about half of the attendees.
The project is ‘forgotten’ as they receive no funding from the council, and rely on local volunteers to keep going. The ‘Forgotten Children’ grant has allowed them to purchase much needed art and sporting equipment, as well as subsidising trips away, once in a lifetime opportunities for the children, who would not otherwise have such experiences.
The Peter Jones Foundation has supported 21&Co, a charity that is dedicated to providing support to families whose children have Down syndrome. The donation was made as part of the Forgotten Children campaign, supporting children in the UK who, for whatever reason, have been unable to gain support from other organisations. The Peter Jones Foundation believes that all young people deserve a bright future and aims to help them reach their potential through educational activities. The donation has been used to fund several projects and activities at the charity including:
- Youth Club: a proportion of the donation has gone towards starting up a monthly youth club for children over 11. It will bring together children affected by Down syndrome, helping them forge friendships with other young people and offer activities including music, dance and games.
- Communication Sessions: A weekly communication session for more than 40 children per week, it encourages children to communicate using pictures and gestures, develop their existing skills and build their confidence.
- Weekend Clubs: A monthly weekend club for families to drop in with their children, this provides an opportunity for parents to meet one another to share their experiences whilst staff look after their children.
21&Co's mission is to enhance the lives of children so they can reach their full potential and go on to lead independent lives. They provide help and support to new parents from the moment they learn their child has Down syndrome and offer support, advice and encouragement.
Shooting Star Chase
In September 2017 we co-hosted a fundraising event with Shooting Star Chase with the support of Phillip and Stephanie Schofield and raised over £120,000.
Shooting Star Chase is a leading children’s hospice charity caring for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and their families.
Whether lives are measured in days, weeks, months or years, they try to make every moment count. Shooting Star Chase support families from diagnosis to end of life and throughout bereavement with a range of nursing, practical, emotional and medical care.
Their bespoke support is free of charge to families and available 365 days a year and their care service includes short breaks at our two hospices (Shooting Star House in Hampton and Christopher’s in Guildford), Hospice at Home, day care, symptom management, end-of-life care, bereavement care and a comprehensive range of therapies and support groups for the whole family.
The Alan Shearer Foundation
In 2017 we supported the Alan Shearer Foundation which offers a highly specialist disability respite residential and social provision for people with complex disabilities and acute sensory impairment.
The Alan Shearer Foundation has three specific aims:
- To provide a number of free short breaks for profoundly disabled children and adults at the Alan Shearer Short Break Centre every year
- To continue to offer free sensory facilities and specialist leisure activities for the disabled users of the Alan Shearer Activity Centre
- To enable St Cuthberts Care to expand its disability provision across the North East
The Alan Shearer Centre comprises three distinct facilities within the same building. Their specialist Activity Centre is open daily to disabled members of the public. It also funds a considerable number of additional free respite breaks for guests using our Short Break Centre. Their new Specialist Residential home, on the same site, offers a safe and nurturing environment for disabled adults.