Former Exeter College student wins top innovation award

Exeter College news article

Date: Monday 02 July 2018

George Howell, founder of local company Ideal First Car, has won a prestigious new innovation award. The Prince's Trust and Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, recently announced the winners of its inaugural Ideas Mean Business Awards - the culmination of a campaign designed to engage young people from diverse backgrounds with the opportunity to take their business ideas to the next level.

George completed his studies at Exeter College last year and went on to grow his company, Ideal First Car. It was founded as part of his studies and aims to help young drivers access better quality cars and cheaper insurance. Last autumn, George went on to apply to the Prince’s Trust online E-Mentorship programme which led him to apply for the Ideas Mean Business Award.

The Award is a fantastic achievement for the former student, which recognises his achievement developing his business and will help ensure it continues to go from strength to strength. Open to 18-30 year olds from a wide range of backgrounds, thousands of young people across the UK responded to the campaign and 24 winners were crowned, giving them access to a bespoke programme of advice, guidance, mentorship and up to £5,000 financial support.

George says:

I feel honoured to be selected for the Award. This is something I’m really excited about and I hope to use it as a platform to prove to the nation that you don't need to be in London to run an innovative business. To me, the award is recognition for the years of work I have put into this brand; and with the support of Innovate UK (and the Prince's Trust) we can now work on taking the company to the next level!”

Speaking of his time at college, George credits his studies and tutors at college as playing a large part in the initial growth and development of his skills and drive to develop his own company. He says:

At college I was able to meet local business leaders, such as Richard Carpenter of Enterprise Assist and Adam Stone from Rokk Media, who spurred me on to take the risk and go for it. My course gave me a good understanding and starting point for what would eventually become Ideal First Car. Giving me the right tools so I could take them forward into the real world. At the end of the day, nothing can fully prepare you for what’s going to happen in the business world; but my studies (especially my tutor, Sonja Longmore) gave me a good starting point.”

George was also selected to appear in a short film created by SBTV, the ground-breaking youth organisation. The films challenge long-held cultural assumptions about young people, using footage that captures the raw untold ambition, passion and invention behind Britain’s innovative future. Click here to view the film and find out more about George’s achievement and for more information about Innovate UK and the #IdeasMeanBusiness campaign click here.

Please contact us to find out more about Business courses available to 16-18 year olds at Exeter College or click here for further information.


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