Leicester College student, Cerys Andrew has been announced as the 2022 National Entrepreneur of the Year and will receive a £5,000 investment from Peter Jones CBE, star of BBC’s Dragon’s Den.
Cerys, who has recently completed the Peter Jones Business Enterprise BTEC National Foundation Diploma level 3 at the College, entered the competition which saw her pitch her business idea to a panel of judges, including Peter Jones himself.
Based on her love of Irish dancing, in which she competes internationally, Cerys’ business is an Irish dance school, ‘Little Leprechauns.’ Currently, Cerys runs taster sessions and holiday club classes in primary schools. She has plans to turn the business into a franchise and hire and train staff to run their own schools around the UK.
The £5,000 investment will help Cerys to expand her business by reaching more customers, conducting market research, and purchasing merchandise for her competing students.
Cerys aims to use dance as a way to tackle obesity and promote healthy lifestyles amongst 6-15-year-olds.
Cerys commented: “It’s been a big achievement for me getting to the finals, let alone winning! It still hasn’t sunk in! I wouldn’t have been able to get this far without the support from the College and my teachers, and I can’t wait to see where this takes my business in the future.”
Peter Jones CBE, Chairman of Peter Jones Foundation, stated: “Cerys is an exceptional talent who pitched an impressive business plan. She is a great demonstration of someone who is creating a business out of a personal passion.”
Beena Ghattoraya, Programme Lead, Leicester College’s Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, added: “We are very proud of Cerys here at the Leicester College Peter Jones Enterprise Academy. Throughout the process, Cerys has demonstrated passion and a drive for her business. We are looking forward to having Cerys back at the College to support our future students and we look forward to seeing Cerys start her business with the investment.”
David Humpston, who won the competition in 2014, generously paid forward the £5,000 investment he won to provide the investment fund for this year’s winner.
Yvette Sexton, Director of Curriculum at Leicester College, said: “The Peter Jones Enterprise Academy course at Leicester College is now in its 10th year and although several students have reached the national finals before, Cerys is our first winner.
“Well done to Cerys, a talented individual who has turned her talent and passion into a successful business supported by the Peter Jones Foundation.”