£3000 prize, visit to Harrods and helicopter ride for winning girl’s school
A team of young entrepreneurs from Eden Girls School in Waltham Forest in London has won the Grand Final of the prestigious Enterprise Challenge competition run by Mosaic, HRH The Prince of Wales’ mentoring charity, beating five other teams from all around the UK.
Team S-MART impressed the experienced judging panel with their idea for a secure online trading portal via which pupils can buy and swap anything from unwanted school books to their own art pieces.
The team of five Year 7 girls are the youngest ever to win the competition, narrowly beating Team Hand-Up from Dixon’s Academy in Yorkshire and Team Eazo Peazo from Rivers Academy in Feltham into second and third place respectively.
The winning team was awarded £2500 for their school and a £500 seed fund to help make their winning idea a reality. The other finalists in the incredibly close Final were from Altrincham Grammar School, Hollybrook Academy in Glasgow and St Thomas Aquinas Catholic School from Birmingham.
The Grand Final was hosted at the offices of Hogan Lovells LLP in London and featured keynote speeches by entrepreneur and former star of the BBC’s Dragon’s Den James Caan CBE and Solomon Ian-Sangala who at the age of 18 has been voted as one of City AM’s 100 most influential entrepreneurs in the UK. The final was compered by Charlene White from ITN.
Pupils from Team S-MART said: “We just can’t believe it. This feels like a dream. We worked really hard with our mentor on the idea and we knew it was good. But to win is just amazing. The competition has taught us so much especially about being confident when standing up and talking in front of other people”.
The winning team’s teacher said: “The girls have been relentless and have worked every possible hour on their idea. All of us at the school are so proud of them. Their mentor was absolutely brilliant and worked very hard with them, not just on the idea itself but also on presentation skills”.
Keynote speaker Solomon Ian-Sangala (18) said: “It’s been a brilliant day. I’ve learnt so much from people even younger than me! All the teams were very impressive and showed why in business teamwork is the most important skill you can have. They also all knew their numbers which is a skill that I didn’t have when I started my business. I think all of the finalists could have a bright future in business”.
After the final all of the teams were treated to a trip on The London Eye, a Duck Tour of the Thames and a special visit to Harrods, facilitated by Yousef Ali Al-Khater, Qatar’s ambassador to the UK. The winning team also enjoyed a thrilling helicopter ride over London.
Mosaic’s Enterprise Challenge is a national competition that sees mentors from the business community work with young people in schools some of the most deprived areas of the UK to develop exciting, feasible business ideas. The winners from each school then progress to regional finals, with the regional champions being invited to the prestigious Grand Final.
The 2016 Enterprise Challenge is sponsored by Apax Foundation and Qatar Charity UK.