Four young entrepreneurs to pitch business to Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones
Four talented young entrepreneurs have earned the chance to pitch their business to star of Dragons’ Den Peter Jones CBE.
With a £7,000 business investment up for grabs, and a £10,000 total prize pot, these young founders will take part in a Dragons’ Den style pitch chaired by Peter Jones CBE, and a network of celebrated business figures.
Bethany Edwards, 17, studies with the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy at Dudley College and has been chosen as a finalist for this year’s National Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Bethany is the Founder of Preloved Designer Bubz, an online business that curates the best in children’s designer fashion. With a focus on cost-efficiency and sustainability, Bethany sources the best in second-hand fashion and re-sells through online marketplaces and her own social channels at up to 75% cheaper than the RRP. The business has seen the opportunity areas for the established designer re-sale market, within the children’s segment.
The judges noted: “Bethany has obviously worked tirelessly to make the business a success and has had exceptional sales and growth over the last 12 months. She is knowledgeable about the market she is going in to and has shown an outstanding work ethic and keen eye for profitability.”
Vivek Patel, 17, studies with the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy at Dudley College and has been chosen as a finalist for this year’s National Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Vivek is the Founder of Sherlock Homes, a business born from his passion for the real estate industry. His business centres around provide auction buyers and sellers with the tools and resources needed to buy/sell their properties in the most cost-efficient and transparent way. Breaking down the confusion and opening new areas of opportunity.
The judges noted: “Vivek’s business idea has real legs, he understands his niche and has the opportunity to become the leader in the space. His business centres around information packs for auction properties and he was able to demonstrate his wealth of knowledge in this area through his pitch.”
James Cousins, 17, studies with the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy at Woldgate School and Sixth Form and has been chosen as a finalist for this year’s National Entrepreneur of the Year award.
James is the Founder of So Yummy Treats, a direct-to-consumer, fully operational sweet brand that offers bespoke pick-and-mix, sweetcakes and personalised sweetie jars to customers across the UK. Partnering with the food bank, the People’s Pantry, James’ business model donates a packet for sweets to families in need of a treat, with every purchase made through the website. With a 5* Scores on the Doors rating, James has already gained a loyal following.
The judges noted: “James has created a successful sweet brand in So Yummy Sweet Treats that has a true social purpose at the heart of it. His confidence in his product and his selling platform showcased his abilities as an entrepreneur and he has exciting plans to scale the business. James demonstrated a strong understanding of his market and is already trading with profit.”
Katie Rowan, 17, studies with the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy at East Durham College and has been chosen as a finalist for this year’s National Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Katie is the Founder of HoughHall Cross Country, an equine cross-country business, available for hire and competitions. The business will create a course suitable for all levels of riders and will capitalise on the opportunity areas there are for such a facility in the North East.
The judges noted: “We love that Katie has turned her passion into a business. Her background in the sport, competitive drive, and strong business acumen meant that she delivered a confident and articulate pitch.”
Notes from Peter Jones CBE
Peter Jones CBE said: “I’m really looking forward to meeting our four finalists in person. I strongly believe that this country needs entrepreneurial young people more than ever, it is this generation that will incite positive social change and push forward the economy for years to come”.
“The quality of submissions we’ve received for this year’s award has been absolutely outstanding and picking just four to go through was a real challenge.
“The high standard is testament to the depth of entrepreneurial talent that we have across the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy network.”
To get to the last round, applicants had to submit detailed business plans and a five-minute video outlining their ideas and hopes for the future. They faced questioning from business leaders including, Fran Boorman, Founder of Goal17; James Garner, a deep-tech Founder and CEO of Sticky; and Priscilla Israel, a Peter Jones Enterprise Alumni and Co-Founder of Sticky.
For the final, the young entrepreneurs will take turns to pitch on the day, before facing 15 minutes of questions on their business from the panel.
Bill Muirhead, Managing Director of the Peter Jones Foundation, said: “We run the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy with the aim of giving young people the skills they need to thrive in the world of work and become our next generation of business leaders.
“These four finalists have not only come up with exciting ideas, but they have put in a lot of time and developed strong plans of action. Some of them are already trading successfully. The final is going to be a fantastic showcase of the young entrepreneurial talent that we have in the UK”.
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Previous National Entrepreneur of the Year winners, include Ross Bailey, Founder, AppearHere, which has gone on to raise over $20million in Venture Capital funding; David Humpston, Founder, ViewPoint Videos, who became on of the youngest people ever to receive a Virgin StartUp loan; and Megan Parfitt, Founder, Eat Your Dinner Trivia, who won the competition in 2020 and is currently scaling her product range.
Run by the Peter Jones Foundation, the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy is a network of schools and colleges that deliver courses in business, enterprise and entrepreneurship.