A team of young entrepreneurs from Gordon’s School, near Woking in Surrey, has won the South East Regional Final of the 2017 Enterprise Challenge competition.
‘Team Girl Up’ from Gordon’s School beat stiff competition from teams from Eden Girls’ School in Slough, Rivers Academy in Feltham and Villiers High School in Southall, with their idea for a confidence-boosting transition training programme for girls in their final year of primary school. All finalists had beaten hundreds of students from other schools across the region to reach the final.
The competing teams pitched their ideas in a Dragons Den-style event to a prestigious panel of judges including Catherine Marchant CEO of Bright Ideas Trust, Dowshan Humzah, executive ambassador at Board Apprentice, Mohammed Marikar of RBC, Samantha Maurice of M&S and Marklew Rice, head of management at Al Rayan Bank.
Team Girl Up will now progress to the Enterprise Challenge Grand Final in London on 17th May where they will compete against winning schools from the North West, West Midlands, London, Yorkshire and Scotland for the chance to become national champions.
The overall winning team will win a prize of £2,500 for their school plus a further £500 to invest in developing their business idea and making it a commercial reality. Previous winners have also enjoyed tea at 10 Downing Street and a unique tour of Clarence House.
Team Girl Up featured pupils Lottie Henden, Sarah Mardani, Rhea Patel and Charly Tyson. They said: “We are thrilled to have won the regional final. It was a great experience that definitely improved our confidence and made us believe that we can do anything if we put our minds to it! The Mosaic Enterprise Challenge will certainly inspire future generations of business entrepreneurs such as us.”
Mike Walker, Managing Director of MGN Events and mentor to the winning team, said: “I’ve been volunteering as a business mentor with Mosaic for the last three years, working with schools across the South East. It’s a great opportunity to give something back and inspire future generations. My aim has been to pass that passion on and I hope that it may inspire some of these young people to take the plunge and start their own business, like I did. Team Girl Up from Gordons school have been brilliant to work with and mentor and fully deserve their place in the national final.”
The keynote speaker at the event was Andrew Ramroop OBE, Managing Director of Maurice Sedwell. He said: “Watching the young people deliver their pitches was truly inspiring and a reminder that even those who are successful have a lot to learn from these younger entrepreneurs. From what I’ve seen, everyone who has taken part has the right attitude to be successful. Mosaic’s mentoring programmes clearly help facilitate that and I am delighted to be involved. My best wishes to the winning team from Gordon’s School in the Grand Final and to all those that took part in the competition nationally.”
Robyn Brown, London and South East Regional Manager for Mosaic, said: “Team Girl Up wowed the judges with their brilliant idea but I have to say that the standard of all the teams was extremely high. I am very proud that the South East is home to so many brilliant young minds and I’m certain many will go on to be our business leaders of the future. A special thank you must go to our team of volunteer mentors who give up their time to coach, support and inspire the pupils taking part.”
Run annually, Mosaic’s Enterprise Challenge is a national competition supported by the Apax Foundation and Qatar Charity UK that aims to inspire knowledge, raise aspirations, confidence, self-efficacy and long-term employability among secondary school pupils from some of the most deprived communities across the UK. Supported by specialist, volunteer mentors from across the business community, students compete for six-weeks in an online business game where they must develop, market and sell a new product.