Gordon’s School in Woking have grabbed the winning title at the South East regional finals of the Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge with their business idea for a new mobile phone App.
The regional finals event – which took place at the Aspire Centre in Slough on 26 March – included a presentation from entrepreneur, and first ever winner of The Apprentice, Tim Campbell MBE.
Hundreds of students from schools across the region have been competing in the Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge since January 2014. Supported by local business mentors, they have learnt to establish and run their own business through their participation in a real-life business simulation game. The five highest scoring teams took part in the regional finals.
The winning team have developed an idea for a Revision App, which helps school students to support each other through coursework and exams via their mobile phones. Speaking on behalf of the winning team, their captain, Karrun Sharma, said:
“It’s been an amazing experience, especially meeting someone like Tim Campbell who has built such a successful business. We can’t believe that out of 5,000 students in the UK we’ve won the regional competition and are now going to the national finals!”
The regional final judges included Alan Coates from Heathrow Communities Trust, Paul Camplin of Barclays, Louise Punter, CEO at Surrey Chambers and Farida Gibbs, CEO and partners at Gibbs S3. Speaking at the event, Tim Campbell said:
“Mosaic’s mentoring programmes help to develop the skills, employability and self belief among young people from all backgrounds. I’d like to congratulate the winning team from Gordon’s School who were brilliant. I wish them luck in the nationals and I’m sure that among them we have some business leaders of the future!”
The team will now participate in a high profile national grand final which take place in London in May. Here they will deliver a Dragon’s-Den style pitch to compete for a £2,500 cash prize for their school, and £500 seed fund to start their business idea.
The finals event included 25 students from schools in the region including Slough & Eton College, Beechwood School, Oxford Spires Academy, Gordon’s School and Langley Academy.
The 4 runners up also gave impressive presentations of their business ideas. They included Oxford Spires Academy, who told the judges about their idea for a mobile App for parents. The App would aid pupil development and allow teachers to directly link up with parents in a direct one to one communication platform. The App will be a portal where parents will have individual passwords by where they can access important information such as parents evening, term dates etc. but more importantly they can see weekly updates on their child’s progress at school through examinations, homework or teacher praise/targets.
Mark Peters, head of business specialism at Oxford Spires Academy, added:
“Our students have thoroughly enjoyed this competition, embracing the responsibility and the creative challenge it has offered them. Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge has enabled our students to build teamwork, problem solving and communication skills that they otherwise would not have had the opportunity to demonstrate or develop in the typical educational environment. This has given our learners the ability to become self-aware and reflective on both their entrepreneurial and soft skills set.
“Additionally, the prospect to work with their excellent mentor, Andrew, has provided them with an inspirational role model from which to take encouragement and enthusiasm to carry forward not only into this challenge but into their education as a whole.”
The Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge is the flagship programme of Mosaic, an initiative of Business in the Community. Mosaic aims to raise the aspirations of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, through exposure to mentoring and positive role models. Each year, the organisation supports over 650 students in the region through its primary and secondary school mentoring programmes.
The competition is co-sponsored by the Apax Foundation, and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) as part of its commitment to enable people able to realise their potential to get on in life, irrespective of their background.