Unique busi­ness us­ing en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly bam­boo praised by Dragon Peter Jones

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by Camilla Good­man camilla.good­man@trin­i­tymir­ Twit­ter: @Camil­la_Good­man

AN Amer­sham stu­dent is ‘over the moon’ af­ter win­ning a na­tional award.

For the sec­ond time in three years an Amer­sham and Wy­combe Col­lege Peter Jones En­ter­prise Acad­emy stu­dent has won the ti­tle of Na­tional En­tre­pre­neur of the Year.

Jamie Gam­ble, 18, from Jor­dans, who de­vel­oped Panda Skate­boards, a busi­ness for man­u­fac­tur­ing en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly skate­boards, was pre­sented with the award and a £5,000 cheque to help de­velop his busi­ness by Peter Jones CBE.

Jamie won the award for his cre­ative busi­ness idea ahead of five other stu­dent en­tre­pre­neur fi­nal­ists from across the UK.

Each stu­dent pitched to Peter Jones and a panel of ex­pe­ri­enced busi­ness lead­ers in a Dragons’ Den­style con­test.

Panda Skate­boards was de­vised af­ter Jamie spot­ted a gap in the mar­ket to man­u­fac­ture skate­boards made out of bam­boo, a stronger, lighter and more en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly ma­te­rial than maple wood, which is tra­di­tion­ally used, but is suf­fer­ing from de­for­esta­tion world­wide.

Panda Skate­boards also has a so­cial pur­pose at heart and will utilise profits to im­prove the well­be­ing of young peo­ple.

Jamie said: “I’m so in­cred­i­bly pleased to have won Na­tional En­tre­pre­neur of the Year.

“Since join­ing the Peter Jones En­ter­prise Acad­emy I’ve achieved more than I ever thought was pos­si­ble. The acad­emy has been amaz­ing for grow­ing my busi­ness.

“Hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to pitch to Peter Jones and the other board mem­bers was fan­tas­tic. The sup­port for my busi­ness idea and fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment will be hugely ben­e­fi­cial – not least be­cause I need to buy a laser en­grav­ing ma­chine to help me to trade full time!”

Peter Jones said: “All of the ideas pre­sented at the Na­tional En­tre­pre­neur of the Year pitch were re­ally good. One pitch in par­tic­u­lar, how­ever, that stood out to me and the judges was from Jamie. His busi­ness, Panda Skate­boards, not only meets a real gap in the mar­ket, but has real so­cial pur­pose at its core.

“It’s not the only com­pany in the world mak­ing skate­boards from bam­boo, but the pas­sion Jamie demon­strated when pitch­ing re­ally showed me and the judges that he has the drive, com­mit­ment and en­thu­si­asm to cre­ate a great busi­ness.

“I wish him all the best and will look for­ward to watch­ing Panda Skate­boards grow.”

As Na­tional En­tre­pre­neur of the Year, Jamie will also be­come the lead brand am­bas­sador for the acad­emy and pro­vide a stu­dent voice at na­tional events for the du­ra­tion of his ti­tle over the next year.

Suc­cess: Stu­dent Jamie Gam­ble

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