Pupils from Dixons Unity Academy in Yorkshire were crowned national champions at The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Challenge Grand Finals 2019, held yesterday at Hogan Lovells LLP, London.
Team A.I Class – made up of Aadil, Atheer, Jack, Hammad and Abhijeet fought off tough competition on the day from the other 5 national finalist schools from across the country. The team did well to win the judges over with their impressive business pitch of using artificial intelligence to help bring schools into the 21st Century by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence in the classroom, for an more enhanced and efficient teaching and learning experience.
Speaking of their win, the team said:
“To have won the national finals has been a phenomenal achievement! The rewards were out of this world, a truly unforgettable experience which we will cherish for many years to come. Pitching at the national finals was a daunting task but incredibly rewarding and the competition from the other schools was tough. We have enjoyed every minute of it and leave feeling more confident and more ready than ever to be successful and chase our dreams”Team A.I Class – Dixons Unity Academy
Tasked with the difficult decision making on the day were judges Hussein Kanji, Founding Partner of Hoxton Ventures, Nafisa Bakkar, CEO of Amaliah and Halal Gems, Reg Bailey, Chairman of YMCA Trustees, Kate Sutton, Head of Corporate Social Innovation and Sheikh Aliur Rahman, CEO of The London Tea Exchange. Chair of Judges on the day was Hogan Lovells’ very own Nicholas Cheffings, Partner.
“What an honour to be judging such inspirational presentations. The future of our country is in great hands!”Nicholas Cheffings, – Chair of Judging Panel
The event also featured a very special Q&A between the incredibly inspirational Guv Singh, CEO Catalyst Management and Actor, Writer and Comedian Michael Dapaah.
“I thought it was really inspiring seeing the young generation speak about their business ideas which will eventually help the economy and environment around them. It’s great to see how culturally and socially aware they are and how they look to generate a revenue from this within their business plans”Guv Singh – CEO Catalyst Management
“The students were extremely inspiring, it was nice to see their ideas, their unity and their boldness come to life”Michael Dapaah – Actor/Writer and Comedian
Compere on the day was ITV Art’s Editor, Nina Nannar who said:
“What a truly inspirational and emotional afternoon this had been! Every one of the teams ideas could easily have deserved to win. We can all leave this place feeling better about the world and the future with these young people!”Nina Nannar – Art’s Editor, ITV
As a result of the win, the team has secured a £2,500 cash prize for the school and a £500 seed fund to start up their business. To celebrate their victory, Team A.I Class were whisked off after their win in wonderful Rolls Royce Phantom cars supplied very generously by Smart City Prestige Cars for their afternoon of exclusive prizes.
The winning team first enjoyed exclusive afternoon tea at the prestigious London Tea Exchange, sampling some the worlds most expensive, highest quality premium teas costing up to £20,000. From their the students headed to an exclusive behind the scenes experience of INALA – the Zulu ballet show, at the Peacock Theatre. Not only did they have the opportunity to go backstage for a behind the scenes tour but got to meet and perform with the cast and Grammy nominated choir.
The five runner up teams were treated to an afternoon of culinary delights at Italian food market Mercato Metropolitano, where they had an exclusive pizza and pasta making session followed by London’s best gelato.
The Enterprise Challenge, sponsored by the Apax Foundation, is an annual, national competition during which secondary school students aged 11-16 years old learn about establishing and running a business. Experienced business professionals mentor and support the team through a business simulation game, with the highest-scoring team in each region creating their own social enterprise business ideas and pitching them in regional and national finals.
This year 61 schools and over 2500 students in six areas of the UK including the South East, the West Midlands, the North West, in Yorkshire, London and Glasgow have participated.
It’s not too early to register your interest to become a mentor on the Enterprise Challenge or to sign your school up to take part in 2019/20. Find out more here.