Enterprising students head to the finals
Buckingham Palace awaits for Ethical Print team
A team of young entrepreneurs from a Dewsbury school will be taking their business to the capital next month, after they reached the final of a national competition.
The seven members of Westborough High School’s ‘Ethical Print’ group have shown they certainly possess the skills to succeed in a business-savvy environment.
Since setting up their company last year, as part of the ‘Tycoon in Schools’ initiative, the students have produced newsletters that promote local activities, whilst gaining revenue by selling advertising space.
The money raised by the group during a seven-week trading period at the end of last year saw Ethical Print secure sixth place in a profit league of almost 200 teams nationally, raising £5,289 in total.
In recognition of their success, they have been invited to a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace in March, alongside eight other student-companies hoping to be crowned the overall winners.
Headteacher of Westborough High School Jennifer Napper said: “We are immensely proud of the hard work, creativity and resilience shown by our students in this extremely tough competition.
“They certainly deserve their place in the final and we are very excited that the awards ceremony will take place in Buckingham Palace.
“I have no doubt this is a life changing opportunity for the students. The Tycoon in Schools competition is just what we need to inspire young people and help them see the link between school and the real world.
“The enterprising culture encouraged by the initiative, together with our recent outstanding examination results, means that students have a bright future to look forward to.”
Once the deadline for sales passed, the group submitted an evaluation report to a judging panel chaired by successful entrepreneur and star of Dragons’ Den Peter Jones CBE.
Mr Jones said: “I’ve been completely blown away by the standard of entries in this year’s competition and deciding who should go through to the final has not been easy. After long deliberation, we’ve chosen these amazing and diverse businesses and I can’t wait to meet them at our awards ceremony.
“The Westborough High School students have developed an interesting and sustainable business idea. Their proactive and professional approach is well deserving of a place in the final.”
The students have decided to distribute their profits between five charities, all of which have also received considerable coverage in the final newsletter. The remaining funds are to be reinvested so that the group can continue with the social enterprise.
The chosen charities are the RSPCA, the Salvation Army, Macmillan Cancer Support and Water Aid. The newsletter also features articles raising awareness of environmental issues.
Fatima Yunus, sales manager for Ethical Print, said: “By giving our profits to charity we are offering organisations the opportunity to donate in a way that is beneficial to them. We’ve had a great response and we’re really excited about continuing the business and hopefully sharing our model with other schools.”
Launched by Peter Jones and run by his charity, the Peter Jones Foundation, Tycoon in Schools – now in its third year – gives schoolchildren across the UK the opportunity to develop their own real-life businesses.
After pitching an idea to their teachers, they receive a loan of up to £1,000 from the charity to help kick-start their companies.
Lukman Patel, head of ethics at Westborough, said the students’ unique business model had been a huge success.
“Winning this competition would give us the platform to support similar social enterprises throughout the country in partnership with the Peter Jones Foundation,” he said.
“We want to help many more students to raise funds for charities, boost their local economies and help reduce the carbon footprint of their new advertising clients.”