Empower: Alumni

The Empower programme is delivered through the FFE’s Enterprise Alumni scheme. Peter Jones Enterprise Students who have completed our Encourage and Educate programmes become ‘Peter Jones Enterprise Alumni’ and we support them into one of three successful outcomes; employment, Higher Education or starting their own business.

Being an Enterprise Alumni is a lifelong badge and commitment, and we work to link alumni with a network of business leaders and entrepreneurs.

This strand also includes our own PJ Enterprise Incubator, where graduates who want to start their own business can get support from our partners.

For more information, please download a copy of our Prospectus.

Download School and College Prospectus

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.”

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.”