An 18-year-old Peter Jones Enterprise Academy student from Solihull College in the West Midlands has been named National Entrepreneur of the Year by Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones CBE.
HRH The Duke of York, KG, Patron of the Peter Jones Foundation, presented Harry Day with the highest accolade in front hundreds of guests during the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy annual graduation ceremony, hosted at Freemasons’ Hall, Covent Garden, in London this week.
Harry Day was one of the six students from the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy that got through to the finals for the National Entrepreneur of the Year Award and pitched his business model to a panel of expert judges, which was led by Peter Jones CBE and included; Alice Barnard, Chief Executive of the Peter Jones Foundation, Helene Panzarino, Growth Manager for Grant Thornton UK LLP, Jamie Burke, Public Sector Sales Director at Softcat, and Michael Hayman, co-founder of Startup Britain.
Harry was put through his paces by the judges, who quizzed him rigorously on his company, Harry Day Tailoring, which targets young people and offers a fresh alternative for a business suit that aims to combine a high-fashion fit, with a low high street price.
Joining The Peter Jones Enterprise Academy with a clear vision for his business, Harry impressed course leaders with his outstanding networking skills and professional conduct, which has led him to secure financial investment to build his business.
Softcat, the leading UK IT reseller, sponsored the National Entrepreneur of the Year Award and all finalists were awarded with a brand new Dell Windows 8 tablet courtesy of Softcat, giving them access to the latest technology and enabling them to drive forward their business projects following graduation.
As National Entrepreneur of the Year 2013, Harry Day will receive national recognition for his hard work and will be given the unique opportunity to represent the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy as an Academy Ambassador throughout the coming year.
Peter Jones CBE commented:
“I am absolutely delighted to recognise Harry as the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy National Entrepreneur of the Year 2013. He has everything we are looking for - confidence, ambition, entrepreneurial flair and a good business idea. I have every faith that he will be successful and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for him.
“The Peter Jones Enterprise Academy graduation is always such a highlight for me and it is fantastic to celebrate the next generation of entrepreneurs as they embark on the next chapter of their lives – these are the ones to watch, the young people who will be changing the world!"
Harry Day commented after the graduation ceremony:
"Graduation was one of the proudest days of my life. Ever since I started the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy it was my ambition to be the National Entrepreneur of the Year. I cannot thank my family, fellow students and the Academy enough for helping me to reach this goal - and from here the only way is up."
Jamie Burke, Public Sector Sales Director at Softcat said:
“I have been so impressed by the talent at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy. At Softcat, I am thrilled to work with young gifted individuals every day, but Harry Day bowled me over with his enthusiasm, skill and determination. I wish him the very best for the future and hope that his tablet helps a little with his next challenge.”
The 2013 Peter Jones Enterprise Academy Award Winners are:
National Entrepreneur of the Year 2013, sponsored by Softcat: Harry Day, Solihull College
Enterprise Tutor of the Year 2013, sponsored by Canon: Daniel Britton, Bournemouth and Poole College
Inspirational Student of the Year Award 2013, sponsored by Canon: Raynald Andrew-Kinyanjui, City College Coventry
Business Enterprise Manager of the Year 2013, sponsored by Grant Thornton UK LLP: Shazia Afzal, Oldham College
Personal Professional Development Award 2013, sponsored by Red Letter Days: Team AIR (Anything In Reach), Warrington Collegiate
Level 2 Entrepreneur of the Year, Sponsored by Expansys: Sean O’Flaherty, North Hertfordshire College
Level 3 Entrepreneur of the Year, Sponsored by Expansys: Emma Whitley from New College Nottingham