Five Year Eight students from St Bede’s Catholic Grammar School in Bradford had an opportunity to meet the entrepreneur stars of BBC’s Dragon’s Den, as part of their prize for winning this year’s Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge.
The five talented students from winning team Trash4Cash, Twaanda Sikwese, Nikhil Mistry, Mateusz Kucko, Francis Harrison and Rohan Bingham, along with Mrs Jabila Khan (lead teacher) and Ms Alice Walker (teacher) had an opportunity to meet the Dragons from the popular TV programme face to face, including Deborah Meaden, Duncan Bannatyne, Peter Jones, Kelly Hoppen and Piers Linney.
They heard at first-hand from the celebrity business tycoons just what it takes to receive investment in a new business and what it takes to make it as an entrepreneur.
The students had themselves won £500 seed funding to start up their business from Mosaic along with a £2,500 cash prize for their school as finalists of the Enterprise Challenge 2014.
“This was a once in a lifetime experience – it was amazing and quite unbelievable that we were actually able to meet the Dragons.”
The visit was just part of a series of special prizes announced for the winners, which will also include a visit to the world-famous Cirque du Soleil as guests of Barclays at their exclusive box at the O2 arena, a year’s mentor support from Entrepreneurs Organization and participation in an Enterprise Bootcamp thanks to BBC’s The Apprentice contestant and CEO of InspireEngage, Melody Hossaini.
Mosaic’s National Director Jonathan Freeman, who also went on the visit said: “We are so grateful to all five of the Dragons for making the kids feel so special and for their words of wisdom. I think the Dragons were tempted to match our investment in this great group of young people!”
Some of the reactions to the visit from St Bede’s:
“This has been an amazing experience that I will never forget.” – Francis (team member)
“This was a once in a lifetime experience – it was amazing and quite unbelievable that we were actually able to meet the Dragons. Although they are so rich… I found them really friendly and down to earth.” – Nikhil (team member)
“I was amazed at how pleasant and friendly all the Dragons were!” – Mateusz (team member)
“This was an indescribable experience” – Twaanda (team member)
“This truly was a remarkable prize. The delight we witnessed in our students was second to none. These are moments we will treasure throughout our teaching careers.” – Mrs Khan and Mrs Walker (Teachers)
The Enterprise Challenge, sponsored by the Apax Foundation and Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is an initiative is aimed at inspiring young people living in the most deprived communities about business and entrepreneurship, and helping to raise their aspirations, self- belief and employability.
Mosaic would like to thank BBC Head of Religion and Ethics and Mosaic Board member Aaqil Ahmed and also BBC Head of Regional and Local Programmes in the North West and Mosaic’s North West Regional Leadership Group member Aziz Rashid for making the visit possible.
Mosaic would like to hear from businesses and individuals who want to be part of the Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge 2015 to mentor secondary school students or provide support for the initiative.