Gamble pays off for young entrepreneur

Gamble pays off for young entrepreneur

Jamie Gamble, an 18-year-old entrepreneur from Amersham, has been crowned ‘National Entrepreneur of the Year’ by Peter Jones Enterprise Academies.

Gamble, a student at Amersham & Wycombe College, was awarded the title by Peter Jones CBE for turning his passion for extreme sports into a business manufacturing environmentally friendly skateboards. 

The award will see Gamble receive £5,000 worth of investment into his business, Panda Skateboards. The money will go towards purchasing a laser engraving machine for his skateboards.

Gamble launched Panda Skateboards after spotting 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.

On winning the award, 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!” 

Jamie's business idea was crowned the winner ahead of five other student entrepreneur finalists from across the UK. His pitch was praised by Peter Jones CBE and the judging panel of business leaders.

Jones 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.