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Interview with NEOY 2020 Winner Megan Parfitt

Last week (17 November) our very own Megan Parfitt came away the winner of the National Entrepreneur of the Year award at a new-look virtual event hosted by the Peter Jones Foundation. Today we sat down with Megan to discuss her journey so far, how she came up with her prize-winning idea, and how her course has helped her thrive.

Currently in the final year of a Level 3 Extended Diploma Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Folkestone College, Megan has felt the drive to be independent and “be her own boss” for a while now.

“For some reason I didn’t study Business at school, but I always knew it was an interest of mine. I could have gone to uni as I’d studied A Levels before joining the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy at Folkestone, but after sitting down with my Mum, I was encouraged to take the leap!”

‘Eat Your Dinner Trivia’ was the idea that sparked a passion in Megan – a business dedicated to tackling childhood obesity and unhealthy eating – and is now the recipient of a £5,000 business investment from Dragons’ Den’s Peter Jones CBE, who was part of a panel of judges on the evening. Due to be held in Buckinghamshire, the annual in-person event was seamlessly transformed into a digital one, due to lockdown restrictions, that supporters could join from living rooms and classrooms alike.

“When I came on this course, I had a little idea that has now turned into a big one! I’ve had the backing from my course leaders, Alexandra and Charmaine, from day one and they encouraged me to enter the competition and have supported me all the way through.

“I have been able to develop other ideas I’ve had through this course. For example, I’m really into my fitness and exercise, and I’ve been able to tailor my assignments to align with my interests.

“When I used to get the train to College, I used to jot down ideas on my notepad all the time. It sounds silly but honestly, anything you think of, always write it down! You never know if it will become something more.”

On the difference between school and College, Megan notes that the main difference that she has found is the “freedom.” “Being more able to do what you want to do is great, where at school it’s very much things you have to do. This freedom has really helped me develop my own entrepreneurial ideas.”

Through embarking on this quest to become a nationally-recognised young entrepreneur, one thing that is clear to see is that Megan has become a driven and passionate person.

“In five years time, I would love to have an international business. I want to see my game in schools up and down the country, and in a variety of languages. To see my name on a range of products would be awesome.”

Finally, some words of advice for budding Business students: “Don’t doubt yourself. When I started College, I wasn’t as confident as I am now – I couldn’t even think about talking in front of people. But now, I can do that comfortably. So, yeah, don’t doubt yourself and don’t discount the small ideas, because you never know whether or not it will become a big one!”

If you’ve been inspired by Megan’s journey, you can find out more about the Peter Jones Academy at Folkestone College here.