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A Leicester business student is a finalist in the 2022 National Entrepreneur of the Year competition, run by the Peter Jones Foundation.

Cerys Andrew, who has recently completed the Peter Jones Business Enterprise BTEC National Foundation Diploma level 3 at Leicester College, will find out if she has won the £5,000 to invest in her business idea in September, at her graduation.

Picture: Cerys Andrew

Encouraged by course tutors, Cerys and other students entered the National Entrepreneur of the Year competition during their course. They each had to submit their business plan, then present it online to a panel of judges to reach the semi-finals. Cerys successfully made it through those rounds to the finals. This saw her and her tutor travel to London to the Peter Jones offices where Cerys had to pitch to Peter Jones himself and others in a Dragons’ Den style situation.

Based on her love of Irish dancing, something she has done since she was six years old, Cerys’ business idea is to set up her own dancing school which will be called ‘Little Leprechauns’. Having been inspired to teach dance by helping out the younger dancers at her lessons, Cerys has plans to turn the business into a franchise, and hire and train staff to run their own schools.

Cerys has planned competitive pricing for the lessons and will promote dance as a way to promote health and reduce obesity.

Cerys commented: “It was really great to get to go to London for the finals, to stay in a hotel and meet Peter Jones. I was nervous but my teacher was there to support me. I’m grateful to the teachers for helping me with materials for my presentation and with practicing my pitch.”

Beena Ghattoraya, Programme Lead, Leicester College’s Peter Jones Enterprise Academy said: “Cerys has demonstrated an entrepreneurial mindset throughout her time at the Academy. She is passionate and talented and already working towards her dream for little leprechauns Irish Dance School.

“I am very certain with the right support from the Academy, Cerys will turn her business idea into a successful business very soon. We are rooting for Cerys to win the finals and no matter what the outcome Cerys is already a winner for the Leicester College Peter Jones Academy.”