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Buckingham Palace invite for entrepreneurial student
8:20am Monday 25th February 2013 in News
A STUDENT who showed entrepreneurial spirit to help others get a leg-up in business has received an invite to Buckingham Palace.
Plymouth University student Tom Scott, 23, is to become an ambassador for the Government’s Start-up Loans initiative, led by Dragons’ Den star and self-made multi-millionaire James Caan, at the event today.
It comes after Tom, of Cheney Manor, established an entrepreneur society at the university aimed at helping other students get their own businesses off the ground, work which he has carried on in an official capacity for the university during a placement year this year.
Tom said: “I received the letter out of the blue last week and my mum was going crazy.
“I’m really looking forward to it – it should be really interesting and I hope I’ll get to meet James Caan and the Duke of York, who is hosting it.”
Tom set about helping like-minded students during his second year of a business enterprise degree along with his friend Theo Moule, while the pair also have a few start-up ideas of their own.
But what started out as an informal networking group rapidly became the go-to place for budding businessmen and women.
Tom said: “It started as a way of getting people who had ideas to come and network and talk to each other but it quickly spiralled into something a lot different and we began offering business support.
“So we would meet up with students who have ideas and products that they wanted to turn into a business and help them kick-start it.
“This was not necessarily with advice but by pointing out where to get funding, legal advice and those sort of things – pointing them in the right direction.”
Through events staged at the university, Tom met another TV Dragon in US entrepreneur Doug Richard, who he said passed on some valuable tips and may have also paved the way to his invitation to the palace.
“I had an email out of the blue from James Caan about a meeting on how to get the word out there in universities, but I was already running an event so I could not go,” Tom said.
“I was disappointed but then he came back and said about this ambassador role going for the Start-up Loans Company. Then I got the invitation to Buckingham Palace, where they are going to launch the scheme.
“My role as an ambassador will be to get the word out there in the university and it will be another avenue for the people we support to explore.”