Peter Jones Enterprise Academy Graduation 2015

The Peter Jones Enterprise Academy Class of 2015 celebrated graduation in the company of Peter Jones CBE yesterday, in a special ceremony at London’s Freemasons’ Hall.

Students came together from colleges across the country and all enjoyed a moment on stage with Peter, who presented them with scrolls and spoke about their achievements over the last year.

During the prestigious event, a talented young entrepreneur from Peterborough Regional College was crowned the academy’s National Entrepreneur of the Year.

Kamal Hyman, 21, scooped the honour ahead of five finalists – who all pitched their business ideas to Peter last month – and was presented a cheque for £5,000.

The prize money will go towards his motivational speaking business, Aim a Little Higher, which sees him delivering talks and workshops in schools, colleges and youth organisations all over the UK.

Kamal said: “It feels absolutely amazing to have been chosen as the winner. A year of hard work and focus has paid off and it shows what can be achieved with the right attitude. When I signed up to the course, I set this award as my goal and I’m delighted to have won it.”

He explained that having been a coasting student prior to his GCSE exams, a shift in mentality, inspired by his parents, helped him achieve straight As. Since then he has been committed to helping others fulfil their potential.

Before running his business, Kamal was selected as a youth MP and an Olympic torchbearer. In the future he plans to expand the company, train young employees and take his model to schools in the US.

He continued: “I have a passion for changing lives and I believe that my business helps to solve problems such as lack of self-belief and confidence in today’s youth. I understand their issues and can help boost their future employability.

“I recognise that not all young people have that same drive coming from their parents as I had, so I thought what if I can be that voice for those young people? At my talks, audiences can expect to laugh but also to walk away with a serious message.

“The £5,000 investment will enable me to take the company to the next level, which means impacting more lives, working with more organisations and making a difference on a larger scale.”

Second place in the National Entrepreneur of the Year competition went to Daniel Arundel, who was given £1,000 – donated by successful IT solutions provider Softcat – to put towards his company, Arundel Bakery.

Daniel said: “I started working at my mum’s sandwich shop when I was nine and it was there that I discovered a passion for baking. I had really bad anxiety at school, but opening my own bakery gave me something to focus on. 

“The academy has really brought me out of my shell and helped me build up my confidence. Since the start of the course I’ve quadrupled my business.”

Other award winners announced on the day were as follows:

Click on the film below to watch the amazing highlights of the day.