Claire Young is 32 old straight talking, no-nonsense business woman and new mother of 1, who is well known for reaching the final of series 4 of BBC1’s The Apprentice (2008) watched by over 11 million viewers.
Since then she has worked non-stop setting up numerous business ventures including www.schoolspeakers.co.uk and www.girlsoutloud.org.uk. She is passionate about promoting entrepreneurship and enterprise to our younger generation and founded TeenBiz www.teenbiz.org.uk the UK’s first business start up scheme for under 18s.
Claire works ‘hands on’ in schools (primary through to university age), and across multiple government organisations, helping students to raise aspirations, take off the blinkers and think big.
Claire supports the National Apprenticeship Service by heading up their Young Ambassador Network and works in partnership with the Peter Jones Foundation supporting Tenner Tycoon and Global Entrepreneurship Week. Recently she met with the Prime Minister for roundtable talks and has been invited to join the House of Lords Youth Unemployment taskforce. Claire has been nominated for the Queen’s Enterprise Award and is also delighted to represent the UK in The European Network of Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors. She was delighted to accept a position in the Gazelle Group www.thegazellegroup.com developing entrepreneurship plans in college level education.
Her blog is www.dynamicmum.com
Now a successful young businesswoman she hopes that her story will motivate others to realise that with hard work, drive and determination anything is possible.
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
Without a doubt my biggest achievement to date is being a single mother to my gorgeous daughter Eva whilst running my own business. Eva was born on June 20th and I was back to work 10 days later. I am extremely lucky to have a very supportive family who help me with childcare and I don’t need a huge amount of sleep- thank goodness for modern technology allowing you to work from anywhere at anytime too. I have memories of clearing emails at 2am in my PJs whilst Eva snoozed away. I can recommend Mac for good concealers to hide dark circles! I also lost 3.5 stone after the Apprentice which was a big achievement for me!
Describe a Typical Day for You?
I’m an early riser and most days start around 6am. From that point till 9pm I am full on, then my batteries die and I’m often in bed for 10pm. I really enjoy what I do for a living as no day is ever the same. I could be speaking to students, addressing a business audience, running a workshop, working in my office and I try to spend as much time at home with Eva as I can. I have learnt to streamline and do things at great speed. There is no time for faffing and waffling in my life!
What advice would you give your pre baby self that you now know?
Get ready to do a A LOT of washing! My machine never stops. Plus don’t try and cram too much into a day. I now understand that it’s difficult to ‘pop’ anywhere with Eva, my day is planned around her routine. She is the official boss of my house.
What’s in your handbag?
A blackberry, Mac Unchanging no smudge lipcolour, tissues, work, musilin cloth, bibs, Marmite crackers and a load of expenses which need doing.
What are your ambitions in life?
To leave some form of legacy behind me, have a happy and healthy family, to stop yo-yo dieting!
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I would like to live abroad, build my business or start a new one, contribute to politics.
What advice would you give a budding entrepreneur?
Do plenty of research on your product, consumer, market and competition before you spend any money. There is always temptation to dive off with lots of passion and enthuisuaims – before you know you’ve gone off tangent wasting precious time and money.
Photograph ©Claire Young.