Double award joy for Dudley College student

A Dudley teenager's entrepreneurial skills have bagged him two top awards and £8,000 to boost his business.

It was a whirlwind 48 hours for Jack Brookes, a Peter Jones Enterprise Academy student at Dudley College, who said winning the two gongs and cash investments "meant the world" to him.

He was named National Entrepreneur of the Year following a three-month process in which finalists had to submit detailed business and financial plans outlining their ideas, their progress to date and their plans for the future.

Following a Dragon's Den-style pitch to a panel of business leaders, including Peter Jones, the 18-year-old secured the top title with his business – Swiftshot Airborne Service, which offers bespoke services in aerial photography, videography, surveying, inspection and security.

Jack received his award and the prize - £5,000 of investment in his company - at a star studded ceremony held on Wednesday (July 5) at Freemasons’ Hall in London.

He barely had chance for his award glory to sink in before the same business idea saw him named as the overall winner at the Making Business Happen Awards, held at the University of South Wales two days later.

Jack fought off fierce opposition from 30 nominees across the country to secure a further cash injection of £3,000 for his business. Jack said:

“It has been an unbelievable week. Pitching in front of business leaders at my age was a great opportunity. That was enough to make me feel proud of my achievements but to actually win, not just once but twice, means the world to me.

"I’m going to use the money to invest in new technology for my business - unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are a rapidly changing product and I need to keep up-to-date to offer the most cost effective service to my clients.”

Fellow Dudley College student Alice Greenaway-Mintoft also made it to the final of the National Entrepreneur of the Year awards with her business idea BC Wonderland, which is a social enterprise set up for people who have anxiety or depression and for those affected by it.

It is a network where people have someone to talk to and it can benefit the community with events such as coffee mornings and talks at schools, colleges and universities. College principal, Lowell Williams, who attended the events in support of the two students said:

“I’m so proud of Jack and Alice. They are great role models for the Peter Jones Foundation and for all young people who want to develop their own business.

"Staff at Dudley facilitate their planning, helping to guide them but without their own individual passion and the drive they wouldn’t have got this far. It’s a great achievement!

"I’m delighted at Jack’s double win – he well deserves it."

Places are still available at the college’s Peter Jones Enterprise Academy for September 2017. Anyone wanting to find out about courses should call 01384 363 363.


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