Meet Dance Entrepreneur Jessica Elliott

Jessica Elliott
J’s Dance Factory, Dancing After School and JDF Management

Jessica is the founder of J’s Dance Factory and Dancing After School. Her companies provide dance classes for more than one thousand children aged 3-17 across four London Boroughs.

In addition Jessica provides professional training and business advice aspiring dance teachers. Via the JDF Management Agency she represents children aged 2-17 years in the entertainment industry.

Jessica was the recipient of NatWest’s Every Woman Award in 2010 and named Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the Precious Awards in 2009.

Jessica was interviewed by the students of St Philomena’s Catholic High School for Girls as part of the Twenty Ten Club’s “Interview an Entrepreneur” school programme.

At 14 did you know what you wanted to do or where you wanted to be? (Lauren, 14 years)
Don’t get hung up on not knowing what to do, just keep focused on what you enjoy. Ten years ago I really didn’t know what I wanted to do.

What or who inspires you? (Anna, 17 years)
My Mum. I grew up as an only child in a single parent family and my Mum had a very successful banking career. Knowing how unhappy I was with my childminder and speaking to other parents she decided to give up her career and started her own childminding business. It’s good to have someone close to you that you can talk to.

In the world of business what has been your greatest obstacle so far? (Fransisca, 17 years)
Being young! I was only 19 when I got started and people don’t always take you seriously. But your reputation will speak for itself. Always ask people for help they will be glad to give it. Try to ignore people’s negative perceptions of you when you start out, don’t let them be your barrier.

How do you manage your time? (Leah, 17 years)
Prioritising. Have faith in other people no-one will do things as well as you do but they will be able to do it.

What are your aspirations now and for the future? (Doyinsola, 16 years)
To work on me! I am in the process on selling my first franchise and my modelling agency is taking off. Now I want to do lots of dating, buy a house and have a husband and family.

As a young woman in business what advice would you give? (Neka, 15 years)
Think big, start small, act fast. Do something don’t just think about it and in the words of Sir Winston Churchill “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” You can learn, and gain, from negative situations. Don’t give up and don’t stop!

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For more information on the Twenty Ten Club’s Interview an Entrepreneur school programme visit www.twentytenclub.com/school-programme

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