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IM Educate Briefing

My school story – Jamie Dunn, shortlisted for the Top 20 Young People in the World awards

Jamie is a 23 year old internationally recognised entrepreneur that has previously been shortlisted as one of the Top 20 Young People In the World, a title once held by former U.S. president, John F Kennedy.

Jamie started his entrepreneurial journey running market stalls aged 12, which by the time Jamie turned 15 was making him a profit of £500 per week. After leaving school with few qualifications, Jamie co-founded a printing company that produced corporate work wear and trained young people in enterprise skills with any leftover profits. This company went on to have corporate clients such as Asda, IKEA and Aston Villa.

Now aged 23, Jamie is a Director of Spark Global Education, a business focused on developing innovative programmes, products, applications and platforms for the education and housing association sectors. Jamie also invests in start up businesses, blogs for virgin.com and is a charity trustee.

What schools did you attend and what lessons did you enjoy most?

I attended Perry Beeches Schools in Birmingham. I most enjoyed History, PE and Business Studies.

What were your aspirations as a child?

I wanted to be a footballer, (like most teenage boys I guess!) but then when I started business studies in year 9, it became clear to be that I wanted to be my own boss and carve out a career as an entrepreneur / business owner.

What impact did they have on you?

I had one particular teacher who kept telling me I was lazy, and wouldn’t amount to much. At the time I thought he was just being mean, but now I look back I think he gave me the motivation and desire to want to prove him wrong, but also prove to myself that I could achieve what I set out to achieve.

What advice do you wish you had received when you were at school?

That academic education isn’t the only learning we need to succeed. When I left school at 16 and entered the real world, I suddenly found that reading, finding an industry mentor and self education was what was going to get me ahead, not the grades I had failed to obtain.

What job did your teachers think you would be best suited for?

I remember my careers day, and because my brother was in the forces, they matched me to that but then one of my teachers said I wouldn’t do well as I don’t take kindly to authority! Painter and decorator was also matched on my job suitability list.

What is your role/job now?

I run a company called Spark Global Education where we provide tools, and online platforms to international and domestic students. We’ve gone from being a one man band (me) to now being 12 of us and alongside this I’m a school governor of an alternate provision free school, and also a non executive advisor to start ups.

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