On Wednesday 2 March, a team of 4 students from London school, Brondesbury College for Boys were declared the winners of the Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge, their annual schools competition to promote entrepreneurship. The Challenge, now in its third year, is sponsored by the Apax Foundation, the charitable arm of leading private equity firm Apax Partners.
The Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge invites schools from across the UK to take part in an enterprise game as part of their business and enterprise studies. The school teams use PIXELearning’s leading enterprise game software to develop their businesses, with the support of Mosaic’s inspirational volunteers. Using these skills, the final five teams are asked to come up with an innovative business idea for a social enterprise that can generate funds for their school.
The winning school was awarded a cash prize of £2,500 to support the school and an additional investment of £1,000 for the team get their innovative business idea off the ground. The winners also pitched their business idea to BBC Dragon’s Den star James Caan, experienced a flight aboard a private capsule on the London Eye and visited No. 10 Downing Street where they were congratulated by Samantha Cameron. The students in the winning team will be supported by Faraz Khan, serial social entrepreneur and Mosaic mentor, to make a reality of their business.
This year, some 1,500 young people in 265 teams from schools across the UK competed in the Challenge. The teams were supported by over 100 Mosaic business mentors from businesses such as Ernst & Young, Hewlett Packard and McDonalds. Mosaic business mentors are an international network of young Muslim leaders who want to support and inspire young people from all backgrounds.
The five finalist teams from schools in London, Birmingham and Blackburn, attended the finals in London on Wednesday 2 March, pitching their business ideas to a panel of judges including Khawar Mann, a partner with Apax Partners which funds the Enterprise Challenge; Yasmin Waljee, a solicitor At international law firm Lovells; and Faraz Khan, a UK based Pakistani social entrepreneur. The winning team was announced following the pitch stage.
The Enterprise Challenge was established by Mosaic to nurture and promote entrepreneurship with young people from deprived communities across the UK.
Khawar Mann, Partner at Apax, said: “Apax Partners is proud to support this programme and we hope that this challenge has given young people, who might not ordinarily get access to local business role models, the chance to seek new career opportunities and realise their potential.”
Jonathan Freeman, Director of Mosaic said: “Mosaic recognises the importance of encouraging entrepreneurship in young people. Today’s school leavers face an uncertain and challenging future. Our hope is that through participating in the Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge and working with the network of Mosaic business mentors, we can foster an enterprising spirit with this group of young people, whilst connecting them to new people and experiences that would normally have been out of their reach.”
Mo Chaudry, chairman of Waterworld UK Holdings and Secret Millionaire who will speak at the event, said: “I’m delighted to be involved with the Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge which is giving young people across the country the opportunity to learn real life business skills. Some of the young people we work with do not have aspirational role models at home. Therefore it is vital for business leaders and individuals such as myself to help them see what options they have after education, so that they can leave feeling confident in their abilities and with a sense purpose and ambition for the future.”