Final year BA (Hons) Childhood Development and Playwork student, Jyoti Imix (pictured top, with HRH the Duke of York), is the owner of Jyoti Offerings, a social enterprise which focuses on the cultivation of self-esteem, interactive workshops and retreats for both adults and children. The classes aim to empower individuals to foster confidence and self-worth through yoga, dance, therapeutic practices and artistic expression.
Jyoti, who is 25 and from Bradford, collected her award from HRH the Duke of York at a special ceremony, organised and hosted by the University of Huddersfield, on Monday 24 April. The Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Awards 2017 were presented to current students and recent graduates from the North of England who have established a successful business venture.
Speaking about Jyoti Offerings, she explained: “Children are at the heart of my inspiration behind the enterprise. The more we clean up the mess on the planet, the less the children have to clean up. I feel strongly that the issues on the planet are a result of the issues inside each of us. And I feel that these problems all stem from a lack of self love. When we have positive self esteem, we respect ourselves, each other and the planet.”
In the last year, Jyoti has been working closely with the Enterprise and Innovation Academy for Students at Leeds Beckett to progress her business with the intention of launching in May this year. Jyoti has received advice and coaching from resident Business Advisor, Gail Cherry, and has been awarded a £500 proof of concept grant from the University to help with start-up costs.
Jyoti said: “I went to the Enterprise and Innovation Academy to get help filling in a tax return and, instead of meeting the traditional 'business man' in my mind’s eye for a one-off form-filling session, I met my mentor - the Wonder Woman that is Gail Cherry from the Academy who has been an absolute angel! From business advice, to inspiration and signposting, Gail has helped me so much to get to where I'm now at. I also received a £500 grant through the Academy which has also really supported me.”
Speaking about her time as a student at Leeds Beckett, Jyoti said: “I returned to the University last academic year after some time out and I've had a great time. The highlights have most certainly been my experiences in India through the international volunteering team - another amazing department of the University.”
His Royal Highness is focused on supporting the economic success and the creation of skilled jobs in the United Kingdom. He said: “All of you will have faced challenges and come up with similar problems that needed solving. Universities are good places at being able to solve those problems,” The Duke then spoke individually to the young entrepreneurs behind all of the 16 fledgling businesses.
Speaking about receiving her award, Jyoti added: “I am buzzing! I was not expecting it one bit but it feels really great to be recognised for the work I'm doing and it's a great platform for getting my foot in the door with the schools’ network.”
Each university across the North of England was invited to select a student or graduate start-up business or social enterprise that demonstrated commercial or social impact, and that had potential for sustainability and growth.
Kirstie Frenneaux, Manager of the Enterprise and Innovation Academy for Students said: “Jyoti was an easy choice to represent the Academy at such a prestigious awards. We have been so impressed with her enthusiasm, passion and drive. This, combined with a real business acumen and knowledge of her markets gives her business a great chance of success this summer.”