Academy students meet Dragons’ Den star

STUDENTS from an entrepreneurial academy have met with the millionaire ‘dragon’ it is named after.

Those attending North Hertfordshire College’s (NHC) Peter Jones Enterprise Academy (PJEA), which launched last month, met the academy’s founder and star of entrepreneurial BBC TV show Dragons’ Den at a business festival in Sheffield.

The four day MADE Festival, which gave advice about starting out and being successful in business, also featured speeches from the secretary of state for business, innovation and skills Vince Cable, a host of stars from BBC series The Apprentice, including Melody Hossaini and Dr Shibby Robati, and NHC’s entrepreneur in residence Alyssa Smith.

PJEA student Connie Willoughby, 18, from Hitchin, said: “I can’t believe we’ve met Peter Jones already. This course is better than I expected - we’ve had so many opportunities and we’ve only been on the course for three weeks.”

Fellow academy student Chris Bradbury, 19, from Stevenage, added: “We learnt that if you’re going to start your own business, the biggest obstacle that you have to overcome is your own fear.”

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Students from NHC’s Student Crew also attended the festival, recruited by the organisers of MADE to assist with the running of the event.

Student Crew member Peter Wheatley, 17, from Stevenage, said: “We were ushering the delegates to the correct rooms, making sure everyone is in the correct place at the right time and that people registered in before going into a room. I had a brilliant time, I met and had a photo with Peter Jones, Melody, Shibby and Paloma from The Apprentice and when we were leaving I met Matt Horne, who is Gavin from Gavin and Stacey.”

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