DMU sets Andrietta up for entrepreneurial future

Shadowing the founder of a leading online urban music platform is just one way in which Andrietta Simbi’s placement year is setting her up for the future.

Andrietta with Jamal Edwards

Passionate about creating entertaining digital content, the Drama student is currently on a De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) Enterprise Placement Year, an alternative to a traditional work placement giving students the opportunity to start or develop their own business idea.

As with all students accepted onto the DMU Works Enterprise placement programme, Andrietta received a £3,000 bursary, access to weekly start-up workshops, one-to-one business development mentoring, a placement tutor and 30 credits.

The 21-year-old from Zimbabwe said: “I’ve always been involved in performing arts, but learning things like scriptwriting and directing as part of my degree made me really interested in building an entertainment business with a focus on music videos and film.

“The Enterprise Placement Year is great because it’s tailored to each student, so for me, I’m getting practical support to develop my business in producing creative content for my audience.

“Keeping a weekly log book and regularly reflecting on how we’ve overcome certain challenges and the progress we’re making has been so valuable. I feel I’m in a stronger position to pitch my idea to potential partners and companies.”


One of the things Andrietta learned early on during her Enterprise Placement Year is that networking with people in the industry can support her journey.

With this in mind she reached out to Jamal Edwards MBE, the founder of SBTV on YouTube - one of the UK’s biggest online youth broadcasters – and entrepreneur behind curating stages at Bestival and Wireless.

After sending him a number of messages through Instagram, Andrietta’s polite persistence paid off and she was invited to spend a day shadowing Jamal in London last summer.

“It was a non-stop and amazing day,” she said. “We went to different locations to film with different artists and I even got to sit in on a studio meeting.

“Jamal gave me the chance to express my opinions and to direct some of the artists, given my background in performing arts. I gained such a good perspective of the music industry and the kind of work ethic you need to have to be successful.

“Seeing what it takes to make it in this industry was a little bit daunting, but the experience inspired me to continue to improve myself and build a business that has a great foundation.”

As a result of her day working with Jamal, Andrietta was invited to take part in a programme developed by SBTV and computer software company Adobe to find the new generation of talent.


She said: “I can’t say too much, other than we’re using the software to produce a music video which could end up being streamed on various popular sites. It’s a really exciting opportunity.”

Andrietta has grasped every opportunity to network during her placement, connecting with new, established and award-winning artists, photographers, directors and consultants.

“They all stand in their own power and have lots of experience to share. Connecting with them has been a real highlight of this whole journey,” she said.

“Another highlight is the way that this placement has improved my whole life. It’s taught me how to be a better functioning human being, from managing my money to utilising my time. I now look at life as one big problem that I have the tools and skills to solve.”

Connect with Andrietta on Medium and Instagram.

First-year students can apply for the next Enterprise Placement Year 2022/23 during their second year. For more information or to be notified when applications open email:

Posted on Wednesday 24th March 2021

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