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Students and Businesses Gear Up for Enterprising Launch



The first students in new Peter Jones Enterprise Academy at Derby College are gearing up to start their course this September – inspired by entrepreneur and Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones CBE. Students and Businesses Gear Up for Enterprising Launch




Derby College is among the first FE colleges in the East Midlands to become a Peter Jones Enterprise Academy - providing an opportunity for aspiring young entrepreneurs to realise and achieve their business dreams.


The Enterprise Academy – the UK’s first non-profit educational institution dedicated to teaching enterprise and entrepreneurship – is the brainchild of  Peter Jones  who had a vision to create a centre of excellence for developing enterprise skills.


Peter’s aim was to shift the boardroom into the classroom and equip the future generation of entrepreneurs with the skills and confidence to aim higher.


From this September, Derby College will offer two unique courses in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship which focus on developing and furthering the aspirations of young people to set up their own businesses or work in growing companies.


The PJEA also enables students to work closely with business professionals from a wide range of industries, carry out work placements and receive personal guidance on areas such as sales, marketing and finance.


Among the first cohort of learners this September is Dario Quacquarelli (18) from Chellaston.


Dario, who has just completed A levels at Chellaston School, said: “This course looks great and is perfect for me as it is more about the practical skills of setting up and running a business rather than just the theory.


“It will also bring me into contact with business people who I can learn from and hopefully stay in touch with as I develop the business.


“With my Italian roots and my regular visits to see family there, I have a vision of bringing high quality Italian pizzerias to the UK.  I am confident that I have a good business idea but do not have the skills yet to make it a success.


“Peter Jones has come up with a brilliant idea to support young people wanting to set up their own businesses or to be an employee with enterprising skills and I can’t wait to get started.”


Several local and national businesses and organisations have already committed to supporting students on the course with mentoring, guru lectures and work placements.


They include Smith Partnership and Geldards law firms, Marketing Derby, Silverpride software, Matalan, Quiet Storm marketing, QED Public Relations, Enthusiasm, NatWest Bank, Sally Montague hairdressing, Matthew Montague Architects, National Trust Springwater, Smith of Derby and Chartwells.


Mark Grogan, Chairman of Chartwell (Derby) Ltd on Pride Park set up the prestige and performance vehicle repair centre 15 years ago and to date holds manufacturer approvals from Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, McLaren, Mercedes Benz and is a dealer appointed repairer for Bentley, Lamborghini and Porsche. Chartwell currently employs more than 40 people.


He said: "From my experience at this very young age - guidance, support, confidence and real life advice are the things that are sometimes lacking.


“The Peter Jones Enterprise Academy will certainly give students the best opportunity to realise their entrepreneurial flair at a relatively faster pace and at a very young age, which is not always possible when you are out their alone in the big wide world trying to work it out for yourself.


“Life and business are about being competitive, having worth and standing out and the competitive edge that exists between one City and the next.  This is therefore a really big tick in the box for Derby and I look forward to being of assistance."


Derby College Director of Enterprise and Innovation Louise Curd concluded: “This is an exciting new venture for the College and for the local business community who will have the opportunity to share their knowledge and wisdom with our Enterprise students.


“By the time they finish the course, our students will have what it takes to thrive in the business world.


“They will have the initiative, the ability to make things happen, a network of contacts and an understanding of how to build and run a successful business that will put them away ahead of their peers.”


Derby College is enrolling for this and all other full and part time courses throughout the summer.  For more information, visit the website or contact 0800 0280289