A SOLIHULL businesswoman who helps thousands get qualifications from home has been handed a top accolade.
Samantha Rutter, chief executive of Open Study College, has been named as one of the UK’s Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders for 2020, by private equity firm LDC, which celebrates the inspiring leaders behind some of the UK’s most successful and fast-growing medium-sized firms.
Samantha was 19 when she founded Solihull-based Open Study College with her father, Mark.
Fast forward 13 years and as the chief executive, Samantha has grown the distance learning business, to provide over 650 courses, from A-Levels to nail therapy and animal care, to more than 90,000 students.
She has plans to grow turnover to £12m by 2024, through acquisitions and international expansion.
There were more than 350 nominations, with those profiled hailing from across the country, operating across a multitude of industries, employing more than 5,250 people and collectively contributing more than £1bn to the UK economy.
Samantha said: “I feel honoured to be recognised in this way.
“This isn’t just an achievement for me, but one for the whole Open Study College team, and a testament to the hard work that goes into providing access to education for all.
“It has been such an incredible journey since our launch over a decade ago, and I truly believe we are only at the tip of the iceberg.
“It’s our learners that drive our passion.
“Many of whom come to us because they are at a crossroads or, for personal reasons need our support, but then go on to achieve such incredible things.
“Now more than ever we need to do all we can to support the development of people’s careers both here and across the globe and we look forward to what the future holds.”