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Woodford Green stage school founder named entrepreneur of the year

PUBLISHED: 17:18 16 April 2014 | UPDATED: 17:18 16 April 2014

Joel with students in Brent Cross, 2009

Joel with students in Brent Cross, 2009

Archant

The founder of one of the fastest growing performing arts companies in the UK has won a prestigious award for his work.

Joel KernJoel Kern

Joel Kern, managing director of the Woodford Green based Make Believe, has been awarded the Federation of Small Business (FSB) Regional Young Entrepreuner of the Year award for the south east, and will now compete for the national honour next month.

He founded the company aged 15 in 2004, teaching five youngsters to sing, dance and act. Ten years later, Make Believe has 30 schools across the south east and has taught 2,500 children.

A production company and talent agency have also been launched, giving many youngsters the chance to tread the boards on the West End.

Make Believe students Kierran Rogers-Bedminster and Owen Jordan Mugowa have gone on to perform in Thriller, Jamie Levy is in the Easter Sainsbury campaign, Rocco McHue has just been in Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Rachel Adedji was an X Factor finalist.

Joel, of Ilford, said: “I always believe that what you put into life you get back in return. Make Believe has been an amazing journey and I believe there is no end to where we can go.

“Although this is an individual award I cannot take the credit. A company is only as good as the people working for it and so I would like

to dedicate this to everyone at head office, all the franchisees, teachers, parents and the amazing Make Believe students!

“I am proud to be a part of such a great company. I have always said with one mind, one dream and one focus you can achieve anything and with hard

work and determination anything is possible!”

A percentage of profits from Make Believe is donated to nominated charities. This year the company is supporting Kith & Kids, a north London based charity helping children and families dealing with autism and aspergers.


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