Award winning entrepreneur Zoe Jackson, set up the Living the Dream performing arts company at the age of 16 in 2006 to inspire young people and to subsidise her own performing arts training and education.
Zoe has created something completely unique in that Living the Dream is run entirely by young people. Over the last seven years, Living the Dream has grown to include a school of performing arts, a professional dance company and a charity, the Dream Foundation.
Zoe is passionate about championing young talent, creating affordable access to the arts and empowering young people to live their dreams. Through the arts and enterprise, she campaigns to raise awareness and support for the challenges facing young people. Zoe is a talented performer, dancer, choreographer and entrepreneur in her own right, but her strength as a leader and an inspiring role model is in her passion for engaging and empowering young people.
She has received the support and endorsement of Sir Richard Branson who she worked with to campaign for the Start Up Loans scheme, of which she is an ambassador for with James Caan.
2012 - Youngest Finalist - Natwest Everywoman Artemis Award
2012 - Smarta 100 awards winner.
2012 - One of the UK's best 80 small businesses with The Pitch
2012 - One of Cosmopolitan magazine’s "40 fierce women under 40"
2012 - Selected to act as one of 12 ambassadors for the newly launched Start Up Loans allongside James Caan (Dragon's Den).
2012 - Instrumental in pursuading Government to launch the multi million pound Start Up Loans scheme
2012 - Selected by Virgin Media to speak on a panel with Richard Branson at the Global Entrepreneur Congress.
2012 - Winner - Young Person of the Year award with the Chamber of Commerce Business Awards
2012 - Finalist - MADE Changemakers award to win mentoring with top business figure
2012 - Winner - Youth Achievement Award - Universal Federation for Peace and Women's Federation for Peace
2012 - Finalist - Lloyds TSB Enterprise Awards
2011 - Winner - Women of the Future in the Arts, Media and Culture award - Real Business
2011 - Winner - Future 100 Social Entrepreneurs award - Striding Out, Ernst and Young
2011 - Winner - Mayor's Pride Award for Cultural Innovation
2011 - Selected by Virgin Media as the only young entrepreneur to speak at Richard Branson's book launch for 'Screw Business as Usual'.
2011 - Selected by Virgin Media to meet Prime Minister David Cameron to talk to him about launching the Start Up Loans scheme.
2011 - Selected by Virgin Media as one of three young entrepreneurs to launch Richard Branson's Control Shift Campaign, including speaking on a platform, alongisde Vince Cable, Secretary of State.
2009 - Winner of the Top Ten Teenagers in the UK - role in inspiring young people. PR Company - Ing Media
"In Britain, Jackson has become a poster girl for female entrepreneurship" - The Sunday Times Magazine
“One of Britain’s brightest young business brains.” The Independent on Sunday
“One of Britain’s most inspirational young women....Zoe is predicted to be ‘pivotal in the performing arts industry’. One to watch.” Real Business.
“The future Sylvia Young.” Gabby Logan on Channel 5 “Live with Gabby”.
"Zoe is fast turning into one of the UK’s most energetic and inspiring entrepreneurs for young people." - Jim Riley - Tutor2u
“Warning: Straying too close to @ZoeJacksonLTD's aura may result in being singed with sparks of inspiration and ambition. #Blondetrepreneur.” All Street Dance
"Having set up Living the Dream at 16 with only a few hundred pounds from friends and family, Zoe is a fine example of what truly can be achieved through enterprise. Her passion for business, ability to communicate her ambition and the performance of her business are all a testament to how a young person can really take their future into their own hands." - James Caan, former Dragon, Founder/CEO of Hamilton Bradshaw
“Zoe spent three years with us, so it’s easy to feel proud about her achievements, but, more than that, the positive values that her Foundation are promoting. Everyone talks about talent. Zoe and the people, who surround her, exemplify and stress a deeper reality: the amount of sweat and perseverance that goes into being good at what you do. As Edison put it over a hundred years ago, it’s one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration. As far as the performing arts go, never a more apt set of words.” - Mark Featherstone-Witty, Founding Principal/CEO, The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts
“Zoe is enthusiastic, ambitious and innovative. Her business and attitude impressed me when I first met her and I felt confident approaching her to work more with Virgin Media and also in supporting her own business ideas within the organisation. Zoe has proved herself to be very reliable and capable and she is a pleasure to work with.” - Ernestina Hall, Virgin Media
Zoe is an inspirational speaker and is available for schools and corporate events (see testimonials).
Contact us if you would like to engage Zoe's services in your organization
“Zoe came to visit the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy students as a guest speaker. She shared her experiences about how she set up Living the Dream, her ups and downs and how she is moving the company forward. She was an inspiration to our students, her hard work and determination shone through her honest and heart-warming story. Zoe’s passion to succeed and make a difference is her star quality and she is a true self-made entrepreneur. It was a pleasure to meet Zoe and I look forward to working with her again and hopefully having her back to inspire more students.” – Kate Angel, Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, Solihull.
“Zoe Jackson comes across with her vibrant personality, entrepreneurial spirit and determination to succeed. Zoe has a strong commitment to inspiring and developing young people. She is a tremendous role model and a highly engaging motivational speaker. She gave an extremely well received speech to parents and students at our Sixth Form presentation evening this year. If you have the opportunity to have Zoe speak to any group of young people about her experiences and the attributes needed to be successful in life, I would strongly recommend you take it.” – Paul de Kort, Head of Sixth Form, Beaumont School.