Nominated for:
Family business of the year

Founded in 2007 by Mark Rutter and his daughter Samantha, Open Study College was built on the belief that education should be available to everyone. Mark had previously worked as Sales Director for a competitor, who he had been with for 15 years and had built up a strong foundation of knowledge about the distance learning industry. So, when he spotted a way to offer distance learning in a more refined, innovative manner he decided to set up his own distance learning college with his daughter. As a two-person business with a wealth of industry knowledge, a solid business model and strong family values, things were looking positive.

Today we are one of the UK’s leading distance learning providers, with a range of over 450 courses covering subjects from beauty and accounting to fitness and childcare. We’ve formed valuable partnerships with awarding bodies to offer best-in-class qualifications to help over 60,000 students to improve their career prospects.

Over the last ten years, more of Mark and Samantha’s family members have joined the team, including Mark’s wife Lisa, his youngest daughter Shawna, Shawna’s husband Scott, Samantha’s partner Robbie, and Lisa’s cousin John. Open Study College is truly a family effort!

What town/city are you based in?
SolihullWest Midlands (Midlands)

Number of generations
2nd generation


Number of employees