Jenny Knighting

We caught up with one of our Business Advisors, Jenny Knighting MD of Nutcracker Agency, on her experience volunteering with Young Enterprise for the last two years.


“I’m passionate about supporting the next generation. You hear stories about how hard it is for young people to get into work and about the growing number of graduates who are unemployed. For high-achieving students, there’s a focus on mainstream jobs for example, being a solicitor or a dentist but there’s not a lot of choice for the majority of middle ground students. I want to help change this. I want there to be more aspiration towards wanting to be an entrepreneur.”

What does your role as Business Advisor entail?

On a weekly basis, I take students through the journey of starting a business. From talking about initial concept ideas and then the marketing behind that to making sure they’re managing their finances and fundraising. It’s an interesting project because it enables students to think of all aspects of business, but it also equips them with thinking about what kind of skillset different personalities bring to the table.

What’s been your proudest moment so far as a mentor?

Two of the groups I worked with last year went on to win awards for their hard work, one for ‘Best Presentation’ and the other for ‘Best Product Idea’, this team also went on to win overall and go through to the UK finals. It’s made me incredibly proud to see the students I’ve helped coach get recognition for the work they’ve done.

Inspiring others is part of your role but in what ways has Young Enterprise inspired you as a business leader?

My experience with the Young Enterprise has reinforced the importance of a team made up of different personalities. As well as sharing best practice, I’ve wanted to help the students I work with to be more open-minded about the type of people a business needs and how important it is to have a mix of personalities for a great team. Some people are charismatic when you first meet them and that’s instantly rewarding but the people who need to be brought out of their shell a little, can often offer more than you can imagine.

If you could give one piece of business advice to young entrepreneurs, what would it be?

For most people, most especially for girls, I’d say, don’t let fear hold you back. The fear of ‘am I good enough?’ ‘is this good enough?’ and ‘can I do this?’ – it stops too many people. You need to take risks – not blind ones, but calculated risks in order to succeed. Embrace the fear and believe you can do it.


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