Budding entrepreneurs from Harborne Academy have been crowned the West Midlands winners in a Mosaic business competition backed by the HRH The Prince of Wales and local business people including founder and CEO of InspirEngage International, Melody Hossaini.
Hundreds of students from schools across the region have been competing in the Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge, a business simulation game, since January. Supported by local business mentors, they learn to establish and run their own business, with the five highest scoring teams getting through to the regional finals.
The Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge is the flagship programme of Mosaic, an initiative of Business in the Community. It 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 1,000 children and young people in the region through its primary and secondary school mentoring programmes.
The social enterprise idea devised by the winners – team ‘Business as Usual’ – was MakeX, a social media platform which creates work experience for students of the school with local businesses in the community, as well as being a helpful resource for parents.
This year’s judges included Alan Fennelly from Jaguar Land Rover, Kevin Davis from The Vine Trust, Sallie Ryan from Social Enterprise West Midlands and Smita Jamdar of SGH Martineau. Speaking at the event, BBC Apprentice candidate and social entrepreneur, Melody Hossaini, said:
“It’s been a pleasure being a part of the Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge, and hearing some of the amazing ideas that young people in the Midlands have come up with! The competition gives them valuable hands-on experience and entrepreneurial skills. I’d like to congratulate the winning team, who I look forward to seeing at the national event, where I am a judge.”
The winning team will now participate in the high profile national Grand Finals event taking 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.
Dhanjeet Ramnatsing, speaking on behalf of the winning team from Harborne Academy, said:
“It was an amazing experience full of tension. It was so fun to take part and definitely amazing to win. As the team captain I am so proud of my team and so thankful to everyone who took part. The next step is to make this real!”
The West Midllands regional finals event, which took place at Aston University, included 25 students from 5 schools- the runners-up are:
2nd place: G.L.O.R.Y Team from Kingsbury School
3rd place: Dynamite Team from Hodge Hill
4th place: Saltley Dragons from Saltley School
5th place: Team Pros from Kings Heath Boys School
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.
(Photograph by Romana Love)