Peter Jones crowns Skateboarding student national entrepreneur of the year

Jamie Gamble, 18, from Amersham and Wycombe College, has been crowned National Entrepreneur of the Year by Peter Jones CBE for turning his passion for extreme sports into a business manufacturing environmentally friendly skateboards.

The founder of Panda Skateboards, Jamie won the award for his creative business idea ahead of five other student entrepreneur finalists from across the UK and will receive £5000 of investment into his business. Each student pitched to Peter Jones CBE and a panel of experience business leaders in a Dragons’ Den-style contest last month. The prize was awarded at a special Graduation ceremony for Peter Jones Enterprise Academy’s class of 2016 at London’s Freemasons’ Hall.

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

Jamie Gamble said: “I am so incredibly pleased to have won National Entrepreneur of the Year. Since joining the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy I have achieved more than I ever thought was possible. The Academy has been amazing for growing my business – Panda Skateboards.

“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 CBE 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 Gamble. 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 Gamble 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.

The National Entrepreneur of the Year awarded is the highest achievement available to graduating students. Hundreds of students from colleges across the country came together at a special graduation ceremony. Each student was congratulated on stage by Peter Jones CBE and HRH Duke of York, KG, Patron of the Peter Jones Foundation, who presented them with scrolls and spoke about their achievements over the last year.