Every year on the second Monday in March, 54 countries join together to celebrate the links they share as members of the modern Commonwealth. Commonwealth Day on 11th March 2013 celebrated Opportunity through Enterprise; recognising economic innovation throughout the Commonwealth, a theme particularly relevant to Mosaic as we prepare for the fourth Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge Grand Final which will take place on 21st March.
The morning kicked off in Parliament where Rt Hon Vince Cable MP, Secretary for Business, Innovation and Skills gave a keynote address on education and training for enterprise. Mr Cable spoke about the importance of introducing enterprise into the education system to support young people and build on the entrepreneurial skills that will aid both thier own futures and support the country as it climbs out of recession. Concepts close to Mosaic’s heart and to the ethos behind Enterprise Challenge!
Mosaic’s National Director Jonathan Freeman commented: “Enterprise Challenge is all about celebrating the diversity and creativity of our young people; being a part of this day is real testimony to our shared commitment towards youth, social and sustainable enterprise.”
Yomade Aileru, a 14 year old Business Studies student from Skinners Academy, who participated in the Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge Mentoring programme, said: “Attending Commonwealth Day in the House of Lords was a unique opportunity I had. I am very happy to have taken part in the mosaic enterprise challenge as it not only helped me to develop business skills but also offered such an exciting opportunity where I was able to understand the importance of networking”.
After the exciting events of the morning, 6 students from years 9 and 10 of Eastlea Community School in Newham, had the honour of being flag bearers at the Commonwealth Day of Observance at Westminster Abbey. The UK’s largest multi-faith celebration, the Commonwealth Day Observance was attended by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Commonwealth High Commissioners, government ministers, invited guests and over 1,000 schoolchildren.
The Observance began with a flag procession where the students carried their countries flag in front of the 2,000 people in the Abbey. Alexandra Dingreville, a teacher from Eastlea Community School commented: “Thank you so much for giving my students the opportunity to be part of such a great event. It was an amazing learning experience on many different levels!”
After the procession, the students and gathered guests were addressed by Sir Richard Branson, who said: “Entrepreneurs always look for opportunities to solve problems and dramatically improve people’s lives. This insatiable curiosity leads us to search for gaps in the market, to invest and create wonderful new services, products and jobs.”
Lara Noah from Eastlea Community School said: “The best part was Richard Branson’s speech. It was the first time I thought that something was inspirational as I was listening. He told us about starting his company with a little money given to him by his dad and I thought, he started small and look at him know. If he can do this then maybe I can too.”
Mosaic’s Jonathan Freeman added: “We are in full-flow with preparations for our Enterprise Challenge 2013 Grand Finals and are thrilled to have been a part of this amazing day. The Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge provides students with the opportunities Sir Richard talked about and there is a genuine opportunity for the winning team to start up their own business.”
Find out more about Mosaic’s Secondary School Mentoring Programme.