Performing arts company Living the Dream, proves a lack of
experience is no barrier to starting your own business. Launched by
ambitious 16 year-old Zoe Jackson as a way of subsidising her
course fees for the National Youth Theatre, the venture has now
blossomed into a thriving business. One even Sir Richard Branson is
excited about. The tycoon has chosen Jackson as one of three Virgin
Media Pioneers who will represent the interests of young
entrepreneurs in Virgin's new Control Shift campaign.
0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a
Living the Dream is a Performing Arts Company run by young
people for young people, which I set up in 2006 at the age of
5-10 seconds: What's the business model?
Living the Dream has a school of performing arts, a professional
dance company, a media company, a dancewear range and a community
branch to make the difference to young people's lives through the
arts. We're also in the process of setting up a talent agency and
have launched a Dance App for Virgin Media's TiVo service.
10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?
We have many competitors in several industries, but feel it's
more important to always chase the dream, not the competition.
15-20 seconds: What's your USP?
Living the Dream is run by young people, for young people, it
provides affordable access to the arts, showcases young talent and
gives a platform for young people to express themselves and grow in
20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so
Living the Dream received funding from the Hertfordshire Council
from 2008-2010 but this has ended due to government cuts. We are
now in the process of gaining sponsorship for our community
campaign and for growth and expansion of Living the Dream.
25-30 seconds: What were you doing
I set up Living the Dream when I was 16, so before this, I was
30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come
I saw a gap in the market for affordable access to the arts and
something that was youth led. I got into the National Youth Theatre
and couldn't afford the course fees so put on a showcase as a
fundraiser. Then I realised I had a viable business idea that I put
35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done
I think the smartest thing I've done is to continually believe
that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. Everything I
have dreamed of achieving has been successful so far.
40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?
Living the Dream started as friends and developed into business.
Distinguishing between these two relationships has been difficult
and I have made some mistakes.
45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would
An Oreo! No explanation needed, just the best kind.
50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous
I don't really get jealous of people's ideas, just their
55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12
Living the Dream will have grown and expanded its school of
performing arts, dancewear range, professional dance company, media
company and talent agency.
We will also have a major sponsor for our community campaign
'What If We Could Make the Difference' and our Dance App on Virgin
Media's TiVo would be a huge success.
We would then be in the process of setting up performing arts
centres across the UK and on our way to building an empire!
For more information about Living
The Dream Company click here
In association with
If you're interested in a start-up business bank account, contact NatWest
to realise your ambitions.