Students from Eden Girls in Slough celebrate being crowned champions of the South East as they go on to represent the region in The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Challenge National Finals 2019. They successfully fought off tough competition from the other top four finalist schools in the region; beating pupils from Ditton Park Academy, Garth Hill College, Rivers Academy and Slough & Eton Business and Enterprise College.
Nusaybah, Laiba, Ashwa, Ameena and Zainab, (all aged 12-13 years) – collectively known as Team Lazania – went on to win the South East Enterprise Challenge 2019 held yesterday at Slough Aspire. Their winning social enterprise idea on the day was designed around Sunday School Empowerment of Refugees and Immigrants – A Sunday school service at their school for refugees and immigrants run by volunteers to help them with the challenges and needs many of them face when starting a new life in a new country. Offering language classes, help understanding British culture, translation facilities and learning other life and soft skills.
The students pitched their social enterprise ideas, Dragons Den-style in front of highly acclaimed judging panel from a spectrum of backgrounds that included: Soumen Das, Chief Financial Officer, SEGRO, Henri Songeur, Investment Executive, Puma Equity and Asha Hasan, Enterprise Challenge National Champion 2013.
Keynote speakers on the day were entrepreneurs Ollie Forsyth, Host of The Makers, and Julianne Ponan, CEO Creative Nature.
“Networks like Mosaic and The Prince’s Trust are key in helping the young entrepreneurs of the future. There was such a great buzz and energy in the room today and I’m hopeful for what many of them will go on to achieve.”Ollie Forsyth, Host of The Makers
“It was so incredible to see the calibre of the student’s ideas. Particularly the Ditton Parks, food compost idea and the energy Eco Band [Rivers Academy]! It was great to see even those who stumbled slightly recover and keep going. True entrepreneurship that – learning to get back up when you’re down.”Julianne Ponan, CEO Creative Nature
“We’re so happy! It was SO unexpected and really we’re so proud! We were the youngest here. Our mentors have been amazing and have taught us so many lessons. We would have never been able to win without them.”Eden Girls, Slough
“Today there were amazing performances from all the teams. They’ve done a brilliant job. Their ideas are so fresh and new. Once you explain a concept to them they get it straight away. For the Grand Finals, we would advise the team to do exactly what they did today, be relaxed and confident! They prepared such a well put together pitch in such a short space of time, they should be so proud. We certainly are and it was a pleasure to return again this year.”Returning as Chair of Judges for a second time was Soumen Das, Chief Financial Officer of SEGRO
Eden Girls, Slough will now go on to the final stage of the competition where they will compete against the other top five finalist schools from across the country each representing their region at the National Grand Finals – from the North West, Yorkshire, West Midlands, London and Scotland. The students will now use the next four weeks to perfect their proposals in a bid to be crowned National Champions of The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Challenge 2019 when they next meet on 2 May. The teams are not only competing for the title but £3000 prize money for their schools
(£500 of which as seed money towards launching their social enterprise idea).
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.
The Enterprise Challenge National Finals takes place on Thursday 2 May at Hogan Lovells, London.
Follow the competition on #PTEnterpriseChallenge