A TEENAGE entrepreneur is set to go up against some of the best business minds in the country after being nominated for a prestigious award.
Rowena Simmons, who has just begun the second year of her Business, Finance and Entrepreneurship degree at the University of Worcester, runs Black and White Boutique – an online jewellery company which she co-founded as an 18-year-old.
After winning the regional heat, the 19-year-old and her business partner are in the running for the national Best Digital company prize at the 2014 Lloyds Bank Enterprise Awards with the final set to be held in Birmingham next Wednesday (October 22).
Rowena said she was surprised at her company’s success after it turned over £86,000 in its first year.
“I have always had the ambition to start my own business, probably since I was around ten years-old,” Rowena said.
“I grew up with business knowledge and experience in the family, and it is something that I am used to.
“Since actually starting my own company and seeing it grow so quickly, I realised the potential. Over the past couple of months I have been looking at setting up multiple companies and it is something I would like to do full time, after I finish university.”
The Lloyds Bank Enterprise awards attract thousands of entries from across the country each year. They are designed to recognise and reward the best emerging businesses and business people in Britain.
Black & White Boutique was one of nine companies shortlisted for the Central region’s Best Digital business award, and will compete against the other regional winners for the £10,000 prize.
Rowena said, whatever the outcome, this achievement was just the start of what promises to be an extremely successful career.
“Within the next year, we would like to open pop-up shops and hire someone full-time to help our offline presence,” she added. “We are also planning to employ an intern, to provide them with an insight into the every-day running of a business.
“The idea of being my own boss is what drives me. Also, the feeling of achievement I get from knowing that people around the world are wearing my designs and know who we are, is what makes it all worth it.”