Lower Darwen entrepreneur awarded prize in Edge Challenge

Blackburn Citizen: Jacob Knowles’ business guides novice sailors Jacob Knowles’ business guides novice sailors

A BUDDING entrepreneur who has developed a ‘Start Sailing Pack’ providing accessories for novice sailors, been awarded a prize in the Edge Challenge – a national enterprise competition.

Former St Wilfrid’s pupil Jacob Knowles, 19, from Lower Darwen, submitted detailed and viable business proposals including financial and marketing plans, alongside hopefuls from all over the country.

Nine were shortlisted and invited to pitch their ideas to a panel in London last week.

The final three came to the Skills Show in Birmingham and Jacob was awarded second prize.

Patron of the Skills Show, Theo Paphitis, presented Jacob with £1,250 to go towards developing his business.

Jacob Knowles said: “I am delighted to have won this prize.

“The journey I have been on with the Edge Challenge has really pushed my business on.

“Travelling around the country meeting so many successful entrepreneurs has inspired me and I am excited about developing my business into a truly successful venture.”

The overall winner of the competition, taking the top prize of £3000, was Vikesh Mistry from Leicester, for his innovative driving instructor search engine idea.

The Edge Challenge was launched this year and set up by independent education charity, the Edge Foundation in partnership with the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy and the Gazelle Colleges Group. It aims to help a young entrepreneur get their business start-up off the ground.

Jan Hodges, CEO of independent education charity, the Edge Foundation, said: “I wholeheartedly congratulate Jacob on his achievement in the first Edge Challenge. At Edge, we believe there are many paths to success for young people to take and becoming an entrepreneur is certainly an excellent and exciting route to choose. I wish Jacob all the very best of luck in the future.”

Peter Jones, founder of the Peter Jones Foundation, said: “Jacob has done extremely well to win second prize.

“I hope that future academy students will be inspired by his success and gain the confidence and drive to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

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