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Claire Young

Claire Young

JDI - Just Do it! Founder of School Speakers, from the BBC1 ‘The Apprentice’ boardroom to an award winning entrepreneur

Claire Young, 40, is the straight talking, no-nonsense businesswoman who is well known for reaching the final of series 4 of BBC1’s The Apprentice (2008) watched by over 11 million viewers. Lord Sugar dubbed her a 'Rottweiler' for her tenacious approach and mind-set of never giving up! Now a successful young businesswoman she hopes that her story will motivate others to realise that with hard work, drive and determination anything is possible.

After exiting The Apprentice Claire launched which helps to inspire, motivate and educate young people. The success of the business has been recognised by Claire winning several awards for its achievements.

She is passionate about raising aspiration and promoting enterprising skills to our younger generation. Claire has been nominated for the Queen's Enterprise Award and is honoured to represent the UK in The European Network of Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors. Claire is Ambassador, and co-founder, of social enterprise and enjoys working with female students. Her aim is to raise their aspirations and make them think big! Girls can achieve anything which they put their mind to. It is often commented in the press that she is a brilliant role model for teenage girls and young women. She recenty became a Fellow of the Socity of Leadership Fellows at Windsor Castle.

Claire speaks in primary and secondary schools working with students of all learning levels. Claire runs a business enterprise master class session called 'Business Bootcamp' covering sales, marketing, business start-up, role models and presentation skills. She actively encourages students to work in teams and really think about their USP - unique selling point – and how they canstand out from the crowd.

Claire speaks giving serious life lessons from The Apprentice; the ability to work in a team, be resilient, communicate well, have a focus, generate ideas and present yourself well. To embrace new learnings, grab opportunites and be willing to take a risk. After losing in front of 11 million people she talks about failure being the making of her and who she is today. Her key messages are hard work, passion and drive will take you a long way. Her motto ‘JDI’ - Just Do It encourages students to take action towards a positive future.

She is a popular student awards speaker and is also very happy to host events. Claire is an experienced presenter on TV (previously presenting on Day Break and BBC Breakfast) and regularly contributes to a variety of business magazines & papers.

Claire gained a BSc Degree degree from the University of Bristol and is proud to be awarded a 'Pioneer' of the University of Bristol.

Testimonials from Teachers

Claire came to Ackworth School to speak to the students. She captivated the audience and was inspiring on a number of topics through an interactive presentation. She encouraged pupils to think of their own USPs, to believe in themselves and to have the courage to implement their own ideas. Be brave, be bold and be determined! Her advice on interview techniques and first impressions provided invaluable advice. Claire is an inspiring person and showed you can succeed with in today's economic climate. The pupils and staff enjoyed her talk and I look forward to seeing her come to the school again.

– Guy Emmett, Teacher, Ackworth School

The students are still buzzing from last week and we have had an overwhelming positive feedback from students and staff; they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The students and staff had an absolute fantastic time and it was a very well structured event suited for this Year group. We will be sure to contact you in the future for any further opportunities.

– Alison Zuill, Exams/Data/HR Clerical Support, Aylesforth School and Sixth Form

Claire’s energetic and insightful contribution to the conference ensured the girls were able to see a successful and determined business woman in action. The experience and knowledge gained from listening and speaking to Claire was truly inspirational and helped our students enormously throughout the conference. Claire’s support of our leadership and business skills development programs will help prepare our girls for the future challenges of working life within a modern and ever changing economy.

– Helen Fraser, Chief Executive, Girls’ Day School Trust

"Claire is a whirlwind of entrepreneurial energy! Her ethos JDI – Just Do It – mirrors what the Peter Jones Foundation is all about; that anything is achievable if you put your mind to it. She’s a big hit with our students, weaving serious business lessons with a practical down to earth approach. On a personal note, it’s a pleasure to work with Claire, always a true professional and she always gives her 110%".

– Peter Jones, Entrepreneur, Peter Jones Foundation

"The UK needs more Claire Young’s! She’s driven, dynamic and most importantly doesn’t beat around the bush – she gets things done and achieves results. With a strong sense of integrity, what you see is what you get. Our young people have been blown away by her enterprising know how and there is no doubt she is shaping some of tomorrow’s entrepreneurs".

– Nicola Hall, Chief Executive, Hero Project North England

"HTI are thrilled to be working in partnership with Claire. Our main student campaign Go4It is all about students having new ideas, pushing themselves out of their comfort zones and just having a go. We feel Claire's 'can do' attitude, energy and hands on approach fits perfectly with our ethos".

– Anne Evans, CEO Heads, Teachers and Industry

"Your talk has inspired and motivated so many! We received fantastic feedback and we will definitely be in touch again."

– Jennifer Spendlove, Head of Business Development, Learning Unlimited Apprenticeship Provider

"Claire is truly inspirational and the feedback from the students has been great! Her passion for young enterprise has clearly rubbed off on the group already with many of them aspiring to work even harder in order to get to where they want to be".

– Steve Newman, South Essex College

"We loved Claire. She was inspirational, motivational yet realistic. She spoke to the girls on a level that they could relate to. It was fantastic and thoroughly enjoyed by the students they went away thoroughly enthused and energised would recommend her to any other school."

– Jo Marsden, Redland High School for Girls

"I would just like to say a big thank you for running your enterprise Bootcamp with our Year 10 students last week. The students benefitted greatly from the session and I have lots of really positive comments from them saying how much they enjoyed themselves. I hope that you enjoyed the day as much as we did and look forward to possibly working with you again in the future."

– Rachel Edwards, Brislington Enterprise College

"Thank you very much for today it was absolutely brilliant. I am getting so much feedback from students and staff!! I loved every minute, the amount of students who have spoke to me already and said how inspiring you were – really made my week!"

– Craig Walton, ACCTL L4L, Minsthorpe Community College

"Informative and interesting presentation. Clearly enjoyed the format of the day, had read brief of applicants and as lead judge was incisive and helpful as part of the questioning of presenters on the day and in judging winners of the competition (which was in a Dragons' Den type format)."

– UK Trade and Investment

"Finally, and most importantly though, thank you for being such a great speaker. Our students were still talking about you days later! You really inspired them to take responsibility for their own success."

– Lucy Monk, Headteacher, Helenswood School

"Thank you so much for being part of our annual Speech Day celebrations last week. We had some great feedback, including one tweet which said 'mother and daughter both inspired'! Year 10/11 workshop gave the girls all the right messages about being focused, working hard - and not expecting life to 'just happen!'"

– Ribston Hall High School

"I met you tonight at my school's speech night at Wakefield Opera house. I was the one on stage passing the awards to my colleague, to then pass onto you. I just want to thank you for coming and your speech was fantastic and the children commented on how good you were and said you was amazing."

– Amanda Hepworth

“Thank you for coming in today to work with some of our students. From speaking to both them and staff members afterward it seems as if they have taken a lot out of the day. On behalf of all the students, thank you once again, and I look forward to hopefully working again with you in the future.”

– Ross Dunn, Temple Moor High School and Science College

“Thank you for the assembly that you did last week! The feedback from the students was brilliant! Some are now being proactive in looking for work experience; others had the wake up message needed!”

– Vanessa Norton, Head of Sixth Form, South Leeds Academy

"I just want to say thank you for delivering a very inspirational session last week at City for the year 10’s. A lot of the students mentioned they enjoyed your session the most in their end-of-week evaluations! The student ambassadors and I were also left feeling very inspired! Thank you again and I hope to be working with you in the near future."

– Sharmin Kamaly, Widening Participation Projects Officer

"I just wanted to send you a quick email to say thank you very much for coming to Longfield this morning and speaking to our Year 10 and Year 11 pupils. Feedback from the pupils has been fantastic all day and the staff also really enjoyed listening to your presentation."

– Mrs Susan Johnson, Headteacher, Longfield Academy

"We have received some great feedback on both the speeches delivered by yourself and also from Ian Rose. Your pitches were spot on with perfect messages for our two groups of students. It was a pleasure to meet you both, such energetic people which is refreshing!"

– Theresa Moynihan, Swindon Academy, PA to the Headteacher

"Your presentation was brilliant and perfectly pitched for our young people to feel inspired. I'm so pleased to hear you've had so much communication and the impact you've clearly had. It's been a pleasure working with you so please do definitely stay in touch, and we really appreciate your support of what we do. I will keep you and School Speakers in mind for future events."

– Beth Cooke, Senior Assistant Programme Manager, The Challenge, West Midlands Office​

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