A talented young entrepreneur from Peterborough Regional College was crowned the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy’s National Entrepreneur of the Year in an event at London’s Freemasons’ Hall.
Kamal Hyman, (21), scooped the honour ahead of five finalists – who all pitched their business ideas to Peter Jones CBE last month – and was presented a cheque for £5,000 in person by the Dragons’ Den star.
The prize money, donated by the late businesswoman Carol Slesser, will go towards his motivational speaking business, Aim a Little Higher, which sees him delivering talks and workshops in schools, colleges and youth organisations all over the UK.
Kamal, of Cardea, said: “It feels absolutely amazing to have been chosen as the winner. A year of hard work and focus has paid off and it shows what can be achieved with the right attitude. When I signed up to the course, I set this award as my goal and I’m delighted to have won it.”
Before running his business, Kamal was selected as a youth MP and an Olympic torchbearer.
In the future he plans to expand the company, train young employees and take his model to schools in America.
He added: “I have a passion for changing lives and I believe that my business helps to solve problems such as lack of self-belief and confidence in today’s youth. I understand their issues and can help boost their future employability and develop their student brand.
“I recognise that not all young people have that same drive coming from their parents as I had, so I thought what if I can be that voice for those young people? At my talks, audiences can expect to laugh but also to walk away with a serious message.
“The £5,000 investment will enable me to take the company to the next level, which means impacting more lives, working with more organisations and making a difference on a larger scale.”
The ambitious young businessman received the award in front of Peter Jones Enterprise Academy students from colleges across the country, as part of the organisation’s annual graduation ceremony.
Kamal was one of a select few to pick up special honours on the day, while all those graduating collected scrolls from Mr Jones on stage.
Peter Jones Foundation CEO Alice Barnard said: “We are so pleased that Kamal has won our academy’s top award. He was up against a very talented pool of young entrepreneurs with extraordinary ideas, but his work ethic, attention to detail and charisma really impressed everyone on the judging panel.”
The Peter Jones Enterprise Academy – run by the Peter Jones Foundation – is a nationwide network of colleges that deliver specialist courses in enterprise and entrepreneurship, promoting a practical approach to education.