Top 100 inspiring women accolade for St Albans entrepreneur

Zoe Jackson, Living the Dream

Zoe Jackson, Living the Dream - Credit: Archant

A 25-year-old entrepreneur has made it on to a glossy magazine’s coveted list of outstanding women.

Zoe Jackson, who owns St Albans-based Living The Dream performing arts company, appears on Elle magazine’s ‘Top 100 inspiring women’ list - alongside Michelle Obama, Victoria Beckham, Oprah Winfrey, Adele and JK Rowling.

Other names featured include Annie Lennox, Kelly Holmes, Dolly Parton, Hillary Clinton and Angelina Jolie.

It is part of a feature in this month’s issue, which is entitled ‘This is what a feminist looks like’.

Zoe, who set up the company when she was 16 years old, said: “I am incredibly honoured to be included in this list. I am also humbled to be in such esteemed company, as many of these women are my own heroes and role models.

“My mum has always been my mentor. She taught me as a child, to believe that I could do anything I wanted to; that I could live my dreams.

“Our ethos is to teach other young people that they can live their dreams too. That’s something I feel very passionately about.”

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Zoe – a former Beaumont School pupil - was included by the Elle research team, who were impressed with her entrepreneurial work, dancing, acting, choreographing and teaching.

She has won several accolades, including Shell’s ‘Women of the Future in the Arts’, and was named ‘One of Britain’s brightest young business brains’, by The Independent on Sunday.

Recently, she won the Silver Award as ‘Creative Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards ceremony.

She has received the support and endorsement of Sir Richard Branson, with whom she campaigned for the Start Up Loans scheme - for which she is an ambassador.

Living The Dream is run entirely by young people. It has grown to include a school of performing arts, a professional dance company, a talent agency and a charity.

The Dream Foundation was chosen as the Mayor of St Albans’ chosen charity, for this year.

Living The Dream’s list of audiences comprises The Queen, ITV, Wembley Arena, Vodafone, John Lewis, Prêt à Manger and Virgin.