A young entrepreneur from St Albans who set up a performing arts company at the age of 16 was invited by Sir Richard Branson to speak at a global business summit.

Zoe Jackson, founder of Living the Dream, spoke at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Liverpool on Wednesday, March 14.

The 22-year-old said: "To discuss the challenges and opportunities of entrepreneurship with Richard in front of so many people was very exciting.

"Meeting like-minded individuals from all over the world was truly inspirational."

Ms Jackson, of Green Lane, used her time to talk about stimulating economic growth to the group of leading business people, economics and policy makers from more than 100 countries.

The young businesseswoman added: "There was a real energy at the conference and a genuine belief that, for those with ideas and determination, this could help get the UK working again.

"Even a few thousand pounds can take a start-up business to the next level, creating substantial jobs.

"That’s why we’ve been asking the Government to act on our recommendations and create a fund for young entrepreneurs."