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A team of students from a Bradford sixth form have taken a ‘quirky’ idea and turned it into a successful business model, as part of a regional enterprise competition.

Eight teens studying business at Bradford Girls Grammar School launched the ‘House of Quirk’ earlier this academic year, selling unique, 2D-style bags in hope of winning the Leeds Enterprise Advisory Programme (LEAP).

TEAM: The group of teenagers from Bradford Girls Grammar School are selling cartoon 2D-style handbags as part of an enterprising programme (l-r) Zohra Zahid, Sarah Zahid, Shamaailah Baig, Gahad Ashour, Aisha Karim, Aisha Hussain, Momina Mahmood

TEAM: The group of teenagers from Bradford Girls Grammar School are selling cartoon 2D-style handbags as part of an enterprising programme (l-r) Zohra Zahid, Sarah Zahid, Shamaailah Baig, Gahad Ashour, Aisha Karim, Aisha Hussain, Momina Mahmood

Under the guidance of their teacher, Mrs Howarth, the girls - Aisha Karim, Zohra Zahid, Shamaailah Baig, Momina Mahmood, Sarah Zahid, Gahad Ashour, Aisha Hussain and Sabeena Hafeez - had to launch their own business from scratch, with everything from raising their own share capital, choosing and buying a product(s), writing a business plan and taking the product to market.

In April 2014, the 25 teams taking part are required to present their company, and their results, to a panel of independent business advisors who decide on an overall winner.

“The LEAP programme offers our sixth form students a unique opportunity to gain hands on business experience,” said Mrs Howarth, LEAP Coordinator. “Students learn first-hand the skills necessary to run a successful business.”

Following a business training day at Allerton High School at the beginning of October the team of students worked together to develop their LEAP company ‘House of Quirk’; a name chosen to reflect their proposed ‘quirky’ product range.

Managing Director Sarah Zahid said: “We chose a range of accessories that we all liked and thought would appeal to our age group. However, the decision as to which particular items to stock came after we had conducted a market research survey amongst girls of our age who we identified as our target customers.”

With the products sourced from China, and seen on the arms of celebs such as Katy Perry in the past, the girls have already been forced to order more stock after selling out before Christmas.

Priced at between £8 and £20 the bags can be bought by contacting the team over twitter: @HouseOfQuirk, with a percentage of the proceeds going to the Penny Appeal charity.

Earlier this year, the girls were named ‘Runners-up’ in the competition for ‘Best Retail Trade Stand’ at a trade event at the Leeds Merrion Centre, receiving significant praise from the panel of judges from the LEAP Advisory Committee.

“We were very impressed with this team,” said Miles Mount, Founder of LEAP. “From the start they took the initiative and were very specific about the position of their stand.

“The visual impact, coupled with a Quirky and unique product range really stood out from the competition.”

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