Dragon’s Den star backs Nelson & Colne College student

JONES JOY: Ameena with just a small selection of her products. (S)
JONES JOY: Ameena with just a small selection of her products. (S)

An A-level business studies and accounting student at Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form has been successful in securing funding from Dragon’s Den star Peter Jones as part of the Tycoon in Schools project.

It is a nationwide campaign to get Britain’s schoolchildren involved in entrepreneurship. Its aim is to get young people engaged in business and gives them an opportunity to have a go at starting their own company.

Backed by Peter Jones and the Peter Jones Foundation, Nelson and Colne College student Ameena Bibi had to write her own business plan in order to be considered for funding.

The college was thrilled to learn that Ameena had been selected as one of a few students across the UK to gain a £1,000 loan from the project.

This month, Ameena must use the money to launch her business and trade for four weeks, making as much profit as possible. At the beginning of December, the college will then have to supply the Tycoon in Schools project with Ameena’s business project reports and repay the original start-up loan to the Peter Jones Foundation, but Ameena can keep any profit made!

On December 10th, the winning Tycoon Businesses will be announced and there will be a glittering awards ceremony in January to celebrate the winners.

Ameena’s business, “Occasions by Ameena” is one which manufactures and sells home-made candles and other accessories, decorated with Henna. Her plan is to use the cash to purchase the items she needs to manufacture her products, which she can then sell at college and at craft fairs across Pendle.

She said: “Taking part in the Tycoon in Schools project has been really exciting. I have always wanted to run my own business, but never thought I’d have an opportunity to do so while still at college!

“It’s been really enjoyable and I’ve had so much support and encouragement from my tutor Justine Thatcher. I have lots of open events and fairs booked in to sell more of my products and will be visiting local independent stores to see if they will sell my candles during November. I am really determined to do well in the competition, as it’s such a great opportunity for me before I start my degree in Business next year.”

The section leader for business, Justine, said: “Ameena is a hard-working business and accounts student who has demonstrated tremendous entrepreneurial flair over recent months. She had an initial idea to begin this small enterprise and the backing from Peter Jones has made her idea become reality.

“Ameena is managing to balance the demands of her A-levels with the challenges faced when running your own business. She is being well supported by all departments in college, including her teachers, Finance and Student Services; everyone is behind her, hoping she performs well during the trading month of November.”

And Peter Jones said: “This is the first year that we have run Tycoon in Schools and I have been hugely impressed by the quality of business plans submitted. Students from across the UK have shown great enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit and this competition will showcase their fantastic abilities.

“I’m personally very excited because as a country we need to do more to encourage enterprise and it is my view that we should be helping develop entrepreneurial talent from the earliest opportunity in schools. I will follow the progress of the competing teams closely over the next few weeks and look forward to seeing their achievements.”

If you would be interested in buying or stocking Ameena’s beautiful candles, contact her via Twitter@OccasionsHenna or contact the college marketing team on 440371.