Cerys Andrew, 18, has just completed the Peter Jones Business Enterprise BTEC National Foundation Diploma level 3. Cerys did so well during the course that she entered the Peter Jones National Entrepreneur of the Year competition…and made it to the finals!
After leaving St Paul’s Academy where she completed her GCSEs, Cerys wasn’t sure what she wanted to do but having enjoyed GCSE Business and after a teacher recommended the Business Enterprise course at Leicester College, Cerys decided to take on the two-year course.
Cerys said: “The course was a lot better than I thought it would be! I learnt a lot and it really helped me with my confidence as I had the opportunity to speak publicly. I was nervous at first but I gained confidence and the college staff were really supportive.”
During the course, Cerys developed her business idea. Based on her love of Irish dancing, something she has done since she was six years old, Cerys’ ambition is to set up her own dancing school which will be called ‘Little Leprechauns’.
Having been inspired to teach dance by helping out the younger dancers at her lessons, Cerys has plans to turn the business into a franchise, and hire and train staff to run their own schools.
Cerys has planned competitive pricing for the lessons and will promote dance as a way to promote health and reduce obesity.
One of the things Cerys particularly enjoyed during the course was the Trading unit. This saw students setting up stalls and selling their products and services to others on the Abbey Park Campus. Cerys was able to sell Irish dance tutorials.
A tutor encouraged Cerys and some other students to enter the Peter Jones National Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 competition. They each had to submit their business plan, then present it online to a panel of judges to reach the semi-finals. Cerys successfully made it through those rounds to the finals.
This saw her and her tutor travel to London to the Peter Jones offices where Cerys had to pitch to Peter Jones himself and others in a Dragons’ Den style situation.
Cerys said: “It was really great to get to go to London, stay in a hotel and meet Peter Jones. I was nervous but my teacher was there to support me.”
Cerys is grateful to her teachers who helped her with materials for her pitch and presenting practice. She now has to wait until the end of September when she will find out if she has won the national competition, and the £5,000 to invest in her business idea.
Now that the course is complete Cerys is hoping to get a full time job and start her business at the same time. In five years’ time she hopes to have established Little Leprechaun schools around the country.
Cerys commented on the course: “The course is really good for anyone who wants to set up their own business or just learn more about the business industry. I enjoyed learning more business knowledge and meeting new people. The industry guest speakers who came to talk to us at college was also really useful.”