Young entrepreneurs inspire learners

Budding entrepreneurs at Preston’s College have been given a glimpse of what the future could look like by two of the region’s most promising young businessmen.

Dawood FardDawood Fard, 26, and Sam Marsh, 23, visited the College this week as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) and inspired learners with their stories of success.

Dawood is the creator of international student applications system, Centurus, which is used in over 160 UK universities and colleges, 950 international agencies, and supports more than 30,000 international student applications every year.

He delivered a presentation to Business and IT learners about his journey, which has most recently seen Centurus take the Best Digital prize at the Lloyds Bank Enterprise Awards 2014.

Sam is the founder and managing director of fitness equipment company Jigsaw Fitness, which develops and supplies equipment to organisations including Fitness First, and is now in partnership with Exigo UK. Sam spoke with Sports students at the College about his innovative Jigsaw Flipper equipment, a high intensity interval training device which was been snapped up by Rugby League giants Wigan Warriors.

Both Centurus and Jigsaw Fitness are based in Preston and Dawood and Sam are graduates of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan.)

Dawood commented: “It was a pleasure to meet and speak with students at Preston’s College and share my story. It’s inspiring to see such a diverse and creative set of students ready to explore their next steps after College. Enterprise is vital for all career minded individuals in this competitive environment, whether they are to work and add value to an organisation or set up themselves.”

Mandy Parkinson, enterprise and commercial manager at Preston’s College, added: “The idea of these events is to inspire and empower the next generation of entrepreneurs here at Preston’s College, and communicate to our students that their ambitions are in reach. That’s why it’s important to introduce learners to people like Dawood and Sam as real, tangible examples of young, local people who have turned their aspirations into reality.”

Keddy Banda, 18, who studies business at Preston’s College and attended Dawood’s presentation, said: “It was really good to get the opportunity to listen to the experiences of someone like Dawood who is young but have made a successful business. It helps us to add context to what we learn in class and realise the potential of what can be achieved if you work hard and have a good idea and business brain.

“Dawood and Sam have done amazingly well and I took on board all the advice as it will be invaluable for the future.” Dawood and Sam’s visits are part of a programme of events being held by Preston’s College to mark Global Entrepreneurship Week, which runs from November 17-23 and aims to encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs.