Peter Jones responds to NEA criticism

Dragons’ Den star tells Startups he won’t lose his focus on young talent

Peter Jones has told Startups he will not be distracted from his mission to support young entrepreneurs across Britain – despite recent criticism of his National Enterprise Academy (NEA) from Tom Bewick.

Bewick, the former CEO of Enterprise UK, resigned as chief executive of the NEA earlier this month after just one week in the job, citing a number of major flaws including poor performance and grievous financial mismanagement.

But Jones, speaking exclusively to Startups, highlighted the progress made by the NEA since its inception two years ago.

The Dragons’ Den star said that “things (like Bewick’s criticism) pass – what’s more important is the focus of our National Enterprise Academy, which is going to 18 colleges this year.

“We have the number one curriculum in enterprise and entrepreneurship – in fact it’s the only one in the country. We are breaking seriously new ground.”

Jones was speaking earlier this week at the Tenner Tycoon awards in Westminster, which featured a speech from Ayo Jenyo, the NEA’s Student Ambassador and Entrepreneur of The Year – who has started his own business using skills picked up at the Academy.

Jones said: “You saw some huge successes today. People like Ayo, who’s got a business. There’s real impact happening there.

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“We leave (issues such as Bewick’s comments) to the press. We’re getting on with our focus of supporting and championing enterprise with young people in this country. That’s my focus.”

To see the full video interview with Peter Jones, stay tuned to Startups.



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