College students and staff enjoy success at Peter Jones Enterprise Academy awards

A trio of talented Peter Jones Business and Enterprise Academy students and their lecturer from East Durham College are celebrating after success at this year’s Peter Jones Enterprise Academy Award Ceremony.

With over £7,000 worth of business investment up for grabs, and over £10,000 total prize pot, three of the college’s talented young entrepreneurs took part in a Dragons’ Den style pitch chaired by Peter Jones CBE, and a network of celebrated business figures.

The event took place over a weekend at the prestigious Hampton Court Palace, with students from all over the country invited to compete in various business categories.

Jake Davis won the Tycoon 3k Competition, after pitching his business, Vital Media, a company that specialises in providing advertising spaces for businesses. Katie Davies placed second in the Tycoon 3k competition, with her business Personalised Occasions.

Peter Jones’ Tycoon is a unique national enterprise competition for students aged 6 to 18. Under the Tycoon 3K category, every participating team writes a business plan, is given a start-up loan of up to £3000, starts a business and trades and competes with other student companies through a kickstarter style platform in a safe and controlled environment. This means that Jake and Katie beat out competition from other college students all over the country to clinch the top prizes.

The awards don’t stop there for EDC students – Katie Rowan placed runner up in the National Entrepreneur of The Year award, with her business Houghall Cross Country, an equine cross-country business, available for hire and competitions. She won £1000 to invest in her business, free tuition to Buckingham University and a £5000 bursary towards living costs at the university.

The judges were ecstatic with Katie’s pitch and 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.”

Furthermore, East Durham College’s Business and Enterprise Lecturer Catherine Taylor was awarded the PJEA Teacher of the Year award for the second year in a row.

Catherine said: “I am incredibly proud of my students who have worked extremely hard running their businesses whilst studying their Business and Enterprise course at East Durham College. It was amazing to be with them at Hampton Court Palace where they pitched to Peter Jones and a panel of judges. The students spoke clearly and confidently and were extremely knowledgeable and professional in their responses to the questions. They were true professionals; I was blown away by their business acumen and ability to network with a range of prestigious investors and entrepreneurs. I can’t wait to see the next chapter of their business journeys.”

East Durham College’s students are regularly encouraged to participate in competitions to build their skills and compete against their peers from other educational institutions.

East Durham College offers a Level 3 National Foundation Diploma Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at its Peterlee campus. The college is one of the only Peter Jones Enterprise Academies in the region, offering a tailored business course framework devised by business mogul Peter Jones himself.

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