An 19-year old entrepreneur who has set up an alternative marketing agency for start-up firms has received the top prize at this year’s Peter Jones Enterprise Academy awards.
Grant Ridley, who joined the training hub run by Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones last autumn, was named National Entrepreneur of the Year at a graduation ceremony held on Friday in Aylesbury, Bucks.
Ridley, who received his award from Apprentice star Melody Hossaini as well as Jones himself, has used his time at the academy to launch the GR Marketing Company, an agency which looks for off-the-wall ways to promote young companies lacking the budget for big ad campaigns.
Peter Jones said: “Grant impressed me with his passion and his strong business acumen. He is a shining example of a young, ambitious entrepreneur with the skills and motivation to realise his full potential and live out his entrepreneurial dreams.”
In addition to Ridley, Jones and Hossaini presented awards to 10 outstanding entrepreneurs drawn from the academy’s seven UK branches. They also conferred prizes for Ambassador of the Year, Tutor of the Year and Personal Professional Development Team..
This year’s graduates have been the highest achievers since the programme began, with almost half achieving the top grade set of distinction or above. Jones was clearly enthusiastic about their work, saying:
“The Peter Jones Enterprise Academies encourages a ‘go-getting’ attitude and a winning mentality, and collectively our graduates represent an exciting new generation of entrepreneurs that our country desperately needs to get itself back on its feet.
“Whether our graduates decide to set up their own business or work within an existing business, through the Enterprise Academy they have gained the confidence, self-belief and business know-how to be successful in life.”