High profile entrepreneurs and business people from across the UK are putting their weight behind this year’s Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge.
In a first for the competition, this year students are battling it out for a chance to be crowned regional winners, which will automatically give them a spot at the national finals event, taking place in London in May.
Among those giving their backing to the regional finals, taking place from 19 March – 4 April, is Freeserve founder Ajaz Ahmed. He will be judging the Yorkshire event, and said:
“Mosaic is a wonderful organisation that helps to improve the aspirations of young people and they get to meet people that they might not otherwise ever come into contact with. I’m looking forward to being a judge on the Enterprise Challenge, there are some great ideas out there.”
Melody Hossaini, the founder and CEO of InspirEngage International and former Dragon’s Den participant, will be speaking at the West Midlands regional finals event, in addition to being a member of the national judging panel. She said:
“It’s a pleasure being a part of the regional awards in the Midlands and seeing what the groups of young people have come up with! At InspirEngage International, we work extensively with educational institutions to create pathways into work and develop skills through social enterprise. The awards are another valuable way in which the students can get hands-on experience as part of an exciting national competition. I very much look forward to seeing the winners of this round at the national finals, where I am honoured to be a judge.”
Here are the full details of this year’s regional finals events and their judging panels:
19 March: West Midlands regional finals (Aston University)
Melody Hossaini (founder and CEO of InspirEngage International), Alan Fennelly (Jaguar Land Rover), Kevin Davis (The Vine Trust), Sallie Ryan (Social Enterprise West Midlands), Smita Jamdar (SGH Martineau).
20 March: North West regional finals (Manchester Fire & Rescue)
Imran Hakim (entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den winner), Scott Fletcher (ANS Group), Tasnim Khaled (JMW Solicitors), Azhar Siddique (entrepreneur and candidate on The Apprentice 2012).
20 March: Yorkshire regional finals (Leeds Trinity University)
Shaid Mahmood (Area Director, Leeds City Council), Ajaz Ahmed (Founder of Freeserve), Bana Gora, (CEO, Muslim Women’s Council).
26 March: South East regional finals (Aspire Centre, Slough)
Tim Campbell (winner of the first Apprentice), Jagdeep Rai (Barclays), Louise Punter (CEO, Surrey Chambers), Rafiq Chohan (Goldteam Recruitment / Slough LDG Chair).
4 April: London regional finals (Ernst & Young)
Mike Barry (director of sustainable business), Marks & Spencer’s, Vivek Singh (Cinnamon Kitchen), Shaz Saleem, (iEat), Bashir Sattar (My Choice).
Good luck to all our finalists!