From B&FC to BAE: entrepreneurial Ella gets set for glittering future

Published on 09/08/2020 by DTHACK

Blackpool and The Fylde College student Ella Bradshaw has had the kind of year that can’t fail to inspire her peers. 

After leading her team to a coveted sustainability award at this year’s Young Enterprise regional finals, the B&FC Business student is now getting ready to excel in project management with BAE Systems.  

B&FC Level 3 Business and Project Management student Ella exuded entrepreneurial excellence spearheading the Young Enterprise company ‘Junk Jewellery’.  

Young Enterprise works in partnership with educational institutions across the country to help young people develop their business, financial and entrepreneurial capabilities. 

A love of art inspired Ella’s product choice and, as managing director, she tasked her team with beachcombing to repurpose junk and create bespoke items of jewellery.   

“It was a really good opportunity because it introduces you to running a business,” explained the nineteen-year-old entrepreneur. “You’re literally creating a business from scratch – which gives you solid commercial insights.”  

The team’s unique jewellery creations were an instant hit, winning them Best Product Award at a Trafford Centre trade fair. 

Once the coronavirus hit, everything moved online. The pandemic also put paid to the team’s invitation to attend the Young Enterprise North West finals, which celebrates the achievements of students who have set up and run a company as part of the Young Enterprise Company Programme. 

Happily, the event – due to be held at Lancaster University Management School – went ahead online, enabling the B&FC team to scoop the Arconic Award for Sustainability.  

Sharon Davies, Chief Executive of Young Enterprise, said: “Reaching the Company Programme regional final represents an inspirational journey with many months of hard work, teamwork, creativity and resilience. 

She added: “Students have shown particular resilience this year by continuing with their product development and sales despite school closures.” 

Ella has since gone on to complete her Business course with a Double Distinction Star and soon starts a Project Management Degree Apprenticeship with BAE Systems. 

The apprenticeship will allow Ella to pursue her business career with a multinational company while working towards a higher education qualification, studying one day a week at B&FC’s purpose-built University Centre. BAE also pick up her tuition fees. 

With just 14 places up for grabs (down from the usual 20 prior to the pandemic), the competition was predictably tough, however Ella attributes much of her success to her tutors. 

“They’re all brilliant teachers – so inspiring,” she says. “They’ve made me realise what I want to do. I’ve applied for it, I’ve got it and they’ve helped me along that whole process. I can’t fault them!”