Award Winning Entrepreneur, Founder of London Jewellery School, Lover of Jewellery and Business
Award winning entrepreneur and Jewellery business expert Jessica Rose is the founder and Director of the London Jewellery School, Europe's largest jewellery training centre. She set up the business aged just 21 in 2009 with only one class a month from a community hall in South London and now the school is a huge success having trained over 7,000 students with the running of over 60 classes per month.
It seems fairly obvious that women, on the whole, would be less confident about starting a business as a result of decades of sexism and women being seen as less than equal in the workplace. However it shouldn't be shrugged off, as the repercussions are vast.
The announcement today that the iconic gold and turquoise ring that belonged to Jane Austin has been 'saved' from leaving the country on the hand of American pop star Kelly Clarkson, is, I believe, a bit of a mixed bag.
If a man runs a business he is generally seen as successful, ambitious, reputable, strong, powerful and a target of admiration for all. He will never get called 'bossy' for telling people what to do. In contrast, if a woman runs a business it is usually seen as a problem. What's wrong with her? Can she not have kids? Did someone give her the money to fund this little project?
I did go to Uni, but not out of a choice or really wanting to, mainly due to social pressures that make every young person feel they should, or have to. As a result I dropped out after 1-year to set up my own business making and selling jewellery, which turned out to be the best decision I ever made.
It's currently easier to run a successful business than it is to buy a flat as a young person starting out on the property ladder. A 10% deposit of £20 or £30 grand just isn't realistic for those on average incomes, nationally £26k a year.
To provide context, it's been an uphill struggle and I can't ever forget what I've overcome. After having a tough time at school, dropping out of University, finding out I'm in the bottom 2% of the world in reading due to my severe dyslexia, it was hard to believe I could achieve success. Especially doing it all on my own.
As you may well know, last week Labour leader, Ed Miliband, announced that if Labour were to form the next government they would encourage businesses to pay employees the Living Wage (approximately £8.55) by cutting business rates or tax levels for those that do. As someone who employees 20-30 people (some on PAYE and others freelance) at the London Jewellery School, I whole-heartedly welcome these plans.
I reached the dilemma of finding myself at odds with university life but simultaneously not wanting to join the 9-5 rat race. Having saved up £5,000 from my current job, I made the bold move to leave both university and employment to set up my own business and become self-employed.
01/02/2013 11:46 GMT
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