A team of young entrepreneurs from Hackney has won the Grand Final of the prestigious Enterprise Challenge competition run by Mosaic, an initiative of The Prince’s Trust, by beating five other teams from across the UK.
Team YouTe@ch from Skinners’ Academy impressed the experienced judging panel with their business idea for a video sharing platform exclusive to schools, aimed at nurturing engagement around revision, careers and talent.
The team was awarded £2500 for their school and a £500 seed fund to help make their winning idea a reality. The other teams in the incredibly close Final were from Gordon’s School in Surrey, Holyrood Secondary School in Glasgow, Ladybridge High School in Bolton, Dixons Academy in Bradford and Hodge Hill College in Birmingham.
The Grand Final was hosted at the offices of Hogan Lovells International LLP in London on 17 May and featured a keynote speech by entrepreneur, chef and musician Levi Roots who was made famous after his appearance on Dragon’s Den. The final was compered by BBC broadcaster Sonali Shah.
Pupils Salise Buldu, Sezen Gungor, Yaw Opoku, Ionut Tiplea and Briana Williams from Team YouTe@ch said: “We did it for our team for our school, for our families, for London! We’ve also learnt a lot about teamwork, resilience and determination. Having the support of our great mentors and teachers was key. We’ve learnt so much and we’re all just so proud of each other! Our mentors always say how we are the future and we now believe that we are!”
The winning team’s teacher Dalia Abukar said: “A massive thank you to our mentors, Zoe, Jeegar and Lookman. They were incredibly supportive and we couldn’t have done it without them. We are incredibly proud of the kids, they truly deserved it. The other pupils did amazing pitches too! We are so proud of our school students for being the only school to have won twice!”
Keynote speaker Levi Roots said: “It was such an inspiring day, hearing the kids and watching them pitch reminded me of myself when I was on Dragons Den. I think that they were wonderful, they are all winners but I do think Skinners’ Academy had the overall business acumen and that’s what helped them take the crown. It’s really good to give a good pitch but the business behind it has to stand out.”
The judging panel on the day included: Mohamed Amersi, CEO and Co-Founder of Emergent Telecom Ventures (Chairman of Judges); David Hudd, Deputy CEO of Hogan Lovells; Vanessa Arelle, Founder of TeenZapp; Fadi Itani, Deputy Director General, Qatar Charity UK; Salim Nathoo, Partner in Tech & Telco; and Nick Pickles, Head of Public Policy and Government at Twitter UK.
After the final, the winning team was whisked off in two luxury Rolls Royce Phantom cars, courtesy of Smart City Prestige, and treated to an exclusive lunch at Twitter’s London HQ followed by a London Eye private capsule experience. The other finalists received a tour of Tower Bridge, before all teams were treated to an exclusive tour and afternoon tea at Harrods.
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.